The right question

Had an interesting 24 hours. We have been seeing this year as opening up new things. We have been in Spain 11 years, this being the beginning of our 12th. We think (good word… thoughts are where we stumble forward, walk as blind people (last post), heaven is MUCH clearer!!) that maybe we can see a pathway that opens that will set the next 10 years. And in 10 years time I might be ready to revisit the question Sue asked me when I was 39 . That question was ‘what do you want to do when you are 40?’ My reply, ’40 is nothing, I will still be bumbling along so maybe let me get to 55 and we talk again.’ Well 55 came and went, and as Gayle can testify, he was still bumbling along… so now maybe I can consider in 10 years time. 75 and a level of possible non-bumbling, a small semblance of wisdom and a poquito of maturity? Maybe… if not we just postpone it another 10 – 20 years, kick the can down the road… again. I have noticed the great thing about discovering how immature one is is that there can always be growth. Imagine having arrived at 40 to having already entered the ‘second half of life’ AGGGGHHHHH!!! So I consider I am in a good place as I aim to get sight of the second half of life around 2035.

Anyway the past 24 hours. First we had an evening FaceTime to a certain European nation seeing what might work for later in the year for us to be there. 12 hours later Gayle’s phone rings with an anonymous call showing up on the dial from the same nation. We presume it is from the night before and maybe with a further question or suggestion. But no, totally unrelated. Someone else had tracked us down seeing if we would have any space to input a (very interesting indeed) setting in April that is scheduled to take place in Madrid. Then a few hours after that a WhatsApp to see if a few months later we could make a contribution to another gathering, again scheduled for Madrid.

So the 24 hours… Coming to the threshold at the beginning of the year it opened with two invites to business-related events. The combination of coincidental events mentioned in the last paragraph – both into business related contexts.

It could be coincidental – no point trying to force something together (oh dangerous, almost a second half of life response there!!); it could be full-on God… or as I have found sometimes is the case could be God is moving something around and as that happens all kinds of doors rattle but the door that eventually opens was not one of the ones that was rattling at the beginning. (Or just another example of bumbling along, walking blind?)

In one situation I had a wonderful response that, there probably are theological differences between us but they would like to push ahead. I prefer where there are theological differences as it helps show where I am right, they are wrong and how I can correct them (see I told you I am still going to achieve stardom in this first half of life). Actually, if you keep reading you will realise that last sentence is a joke, so please don’t quote me!

Difference is important. I am certainly not correct on all my perspectives, and certainly cannot be correct at all points as it is pretty self-evident that my life is all too often sub-NT. There is a core to unity – the glory of God covering the earth as the waters cover the seas. That seems to be enough for us to push forward together. But having said even that can show where we differ. How we define glory, what we expect pre-parousia etc., can show up so many differences.

We really need difference to show us we are not right. A few days ago I reflected on ‘are you for us or for our enemies?’. If that was the wrong question and it relates to us and our ‘enemies’, I don’t think God is going to answer us when we ask ‘are you for me, the one correct at every point, or are you for those Calvinists?’ (not to offend, and always a little humour, but as I have found it very hard to spell that word for decades I thought it might be appropriate to enter the word here, to indicate I am now able to spell the word). Wrong question. Well who is more right? Wrong question.

Will I be able to correct those I don’t agree with? Wrong question. Will I be provoked and want to respond when I sit with people who have convictions that are alien to mine? Sure, cos of your immaturity, but wrong question. Will I have to learn a little genuine humility on such a journey? You might just if you learn how to listen and respect others who are probably further on than you are.

OK I think I get it. But surely by 2035 I will be so far ahead that I will then be the reference point for one and all. Silence. Now I am just wondering if the silence indicates I am at last getting the right question lined up. I wonder…

2 thoughts on “The right question

  1. Was just getting ready to comment on walking blind but saw this. Wrong questions! Yes. The reason I logged on here was to avoid work. Work at the moment is researching and preparing a presentation for various climate resilience related courses on trees. And as I was going through a number of saved articles I realized that many were commenting on how planting trees would go a long way towards dealing with GHG emissions. And, though frequently not mentioned, towards restoring essential biodiversity. However, the assertions that planting trees will do wonders for the planet has met with push back. Only in the right places, only the right way, not as much as you think and on and on. Wrong questions and answers. Really.

    Planting trees is great for all sorts of reasons. Anyone and everyone can do it. Dictator governments rarely stop it as they look good doing it. So plant trees. Yes, tactical thinking helps, but we can all plant trees, restore and regenerate degraded land.

    There was a lovely article I read yesterday about land restoration in the Appalachian Mountains in the USA post mountain top removal mining (they dynamite the tops off of mountains to access coal – yes, it is evil as it destroys habitats, watersheds, rivers, people’s homes and whole topographies). The prevailing wisdom for a long time was to bulldoze the land smooth and plant grass as it is the only thing to grow in such conditions. But grass in those locations was totally foreign to the ecology. And trees were not coming back in such situations as the compacted ground does not allow them to take root. Finally the guy who had led the land restoration efforts with grass realized what they had done for 20 years was all wrong. So at age 70 (still time for you Martin) he has reversed course and has led the way for tree planting. They take machines in, loosen up the ground and then in come volunteers to tree plant. And it is working.

    Climate change adaptation will require us to constantly learn. We will have to be nimble, ready to quickly change direction as new info emerges. We cannot be afraid of getting some things wrong or less right than needed. We must have the courage to act, even as we stumble along. The issue is asking the wrong questions, requiring total vision before acting. That cannot be. It will not be. We are in a rapidly moving and changing situation far beyond our control. So do the one thing we know is absolutely good. . . find a good spot, plant a tree, care for it, learn from it. I hear trees are a great remedy for intermittent blindness.

  2. I have recently wondered if silence is sometimes an invitation to listen from a different device…if God was interested in getting us to mature and maturity required learning to operate on a different frequency then the obvious thing to do would be shut down the old frequency or at least go solent on the channel it operates from.

    Humans have used smoke signals, then drums, then trumpets, then bells, then town criers, then newsprint, then radios, then TV, now silicone devices doing all of those things in our pockets to communicate…a school of fish uses none of these things yet can move as one…as do many other parts of nature…

    Everything useful in human development has come via intuition…maybe intuition needs an upgrade…

    On a less positive note how is coronavirus impacting that part of the world?

    I cannot imagine Spain will go unscathed.

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