8/29/2003

TENSION

the pleasure of tension

   My new favorite word is "tension", meaning the interplay of conflicting elements. Over the past few weeks I have been reexamining many things, my faith, relationships, my job. And I realized that there is a lot of tension. Normally people do not like tension, they avoid it, try to resolve it, ignore it or just simply get angry. When I look at the story of God, upon reexamination...I see tension all over the place. Most of it Jesus created with His word, His actions and what He didn't say. There are so many things Jesus simply left unresolved, which in turn created tension. As I sat with my pastor last night, I realized this even more. He, my pastor, has a firm grasp on this concept that I am just starting to identify. I often wondered why He didn't answer some of my questions, but rather would pose another question to make me think, which sometime just pissed me off. I now see, more clearly the reason behind this action, or non-action. Tension is what causes the student of Jesus to either dive deeper into the unknown, or choose to stay on the shore. Sometime when we answer a heavy question for a student, it acts more like a life raft, keeping them on the surface bobbing up and down. When God wants them to drown in His mystery.    This is the reason, or at least part of the reason that Christ would not resolve some of the questions that his students had. And that is the reason that I won't always answer questions that people ask of me about anything. This last weekend I got to visit my mom, stepdad, dad and step mom all at the same time. They have gotten along for quite a while, in fact the last 2 or 3 Christmas' we all got together at the same house. Anywho...my stepdad who knows the Lord asked me this question, "If Jesus' blood forgives all our sins the how come the bible says that we will be judged according to our works ?" I wanted to give him a good sounding, theologically correct...Biblical answer. But I realized as much as I think I understand...I really don't and my answering could be a short cut to him finding God's mystery in the process. So I refrained and said, "Mark that's a great question....I don't really know." It was really freeing to me to know...and then to think that God was wanting to do more in Mark's heart and I got to be a part by stepping out of the way.    Father, I ask that you would continue to lead me in this place of learning. Make me humbled in your creative mystery, and use my limited being to bring honor to your Kingdom. I ask that you would keep me in tension, and that you would do the same for my friends and loved ones. I also asked that you would use me to create tension in people that have no tension, at least not the tension that leads to the life that you give. Help me to not cheapen your mystery by giving those you wish to drown a "life preserver". I love you and need you desperately.