Thursday, June 17, 2010

Work in Progress

Yesterday I enjoyed a really great conversation with Mary Jacobs (left), a religion writer in Texas. She was interviewing me for a story in her news-magazine - The United Methodist Reporter. But I'm not sure if I was much help so far as a Q&A interview goes. It wasn't her fault - I just kept running off on these tangents.

Thinking about it (and I'm not worried, I'm sure she'll salvage some relevant material for the story) I realized that I'm really not so much interested in rehashing material that I've previously written as I'm interested in picking up where I am now, talking about what I'm learning today, and thinking about where I'm headed.

Because there's always new insight, new thoughts, new moments of revelation, new ways to understand and interpret and listen and grow.... What I should have been doing, when she asked a good question about some content area in "The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian", was delivering sound-bites from the book. But I wasn't/couldn't/didn't want to. Instead I let the conversation track along with my imagination, and we explored ideas that should probably be developed for my next book!

Work in Progress:
The point is that I believe we should always be engaged in this kind of conversation, that we are all continuous "works in progress" when it comes to exploring what it means to be "Followers of the Way", that a life of faith is a commitment - something we chose to actively engage rather than passively float along with.

I'm not talking about legalistic, guilt-ridden, ritualistic religious practice. I'm talking about simply being deliberate and reflective about what is possible and how:
  • this day,
  • this moment,
  • this relationship,
  • this work,
  • this journey,
  • this meeting,
  • this conversation with a friend,
  • this decision about finances,
  • this response to the news,
  • this _______
is qualitatively impacted by my decision to follow Jesus.

Postscript: Most of you know I had the privilege of speaking at a Disciples of Christ Men's retreat in Virginia this April. Well, the denomination used the retreat as the backdrop to roll out their new men's ministry initiative. It's just a one-minute video and it features a few seconds of yours-truly. Take a look, I think you'll enjoy. Then pray for the DOC Men.

Peace - DEREK

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