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Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Will of God

I was looking for something on the Christian Century's weblog (have you discovered this yet? Well worth a look.) when I ran across an entry by James Howell, a Methodist pastor in North Carolina. I have deeply appreciated several of his books, recommending them to friends and parishioners.

He writes about knowing the will of God: 'it is God's will that you cannot say anything meaningful about God's will in three seconds.' Well put. He was being interviewed on a radio show and asked to say something about God's will in the three seconds before the pause for commercials. He just stammered. But there is wisdom in that stammer. Too often we feel the need to jump in with some assuring answer (which sometimes turns out to be shallow nonsense, our being defensive in a vulnerable moment), that we neglect to allow the time for a thoughtful, potentially wise answer. Much of the pace of our society actually seems to militate against these sorts of practices -- but I'll stop here because, really, I am mostly speaking in parallel to what Howell has already said, and that better than me.

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2 Comments:

Blogger PdB said...

Good point. A long time ago I realized how badly I need simply to say, "I'll have to think about that for awhile."
But now that I've thought about it for longer than 3 seconds, how's this for a 3-second sound byte from Jesus: "Love God, love others."

Sunday, February 11, 2007 5:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

I'm always glad when I make my readers think -- even if it's only for three seconds! :o)

A respondent on the blog, as you probably saw, mentioned your second point too. And of course it's right. Although its length is suitable, its depth far outstrips anything like a sound byte. Maybe we ought to resist that as 'reducing' something that shouldn't be?

Monday, February 12, 2007 12:21:00 AM  

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