Distinctive … May 5, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2223)

stewAs I travel the country, each and every region advertises its uniqueness by pointing out some attribute, location, cuisine, battlefield or monument that is special to the surroundings. Everyone wants me to know what makes their province sparkle.

For there is an instinct deep inside the human race to be separated off from others, with the hope that the alienation will grant some clarity or maybe even superiority.

But this is not us at our best.

We are a fussy creation when we are either critical of others or feel self-sufficiency within the boundaries of our ineptness.

As I stood in front of the delightful congregation yesterday in Henderson, Tennessee, I wanted to give them an emotional hug and tell them that it’s all right to be a part of the common sensibility.

  • It’s good to be from the South and find reasons for interaction with those from the North.
  • It’s completely permissible to be a Republican who occasionally agrees with a Democrat.
  • It is truly holy to be a Methodist who understands fellowship with a Baptist simply because of Jesus.

There are three things that make us distinctive. I must be candid. Without these three things we begin to clump together. We glue onto those who agree with us on every point, or with those who are related by birth.

Here is what I look for in people of every region:

1. Can they be touched?

Refusing to open your heart simply because you are unfamiliar with the person in front of you or they don’t have the same clothing or accent is the best way to remain lonely and vacant.

I know it’s popular to avoid emotional connection, but if you think you’re going to “zen” your way to enlightenment in your journey without fellowship with others and emotional blessing and upheaval, you really are searching for Nirvana instead of reality.

2. Can they learn?

The smartest people I know are fully aware of when to be dumb. There is no power in presenting an opinion which is stupid. There is great energy in admitting what you lack as you offer what you have.

Learning happens when we stop complaining and confess that the additional wisdom would greatly enhance our possibility.

3. And finally, can they try?

Some people can be touched and may learn, taking notes on scraps of paper, to later be discarded when they go back and return to their same drudgery.

The bravest thing you can do as a human being is try something you’ve never done before and certainly are not sure of its workability. But the denial of trying is the absence of faith, and without faith, we just sit around hoping for love.

It doesn’t matter where I travel–I look for people who can be touched, are willing to learn and ready to try.

If you can’t do this, you find yourself tripping and falling into the soup of the ignorant. If you can, you are welcome to the great human stew.

Jump on in … and add your flavor.

 

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