Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jump On In!



Rob Bell, in his book Velvet Elvis, makes the comparison of following Jesus to jumping on a trampoline. The mat itself is our faith in Jesus, the person. What holds up the mat are springs. These are the individual doctrines that we hold to. We can remove them, examine them and inspect them. Yet, even if a couple are missing because we have them out to inspect, we can still jump. The springs are flexible and bendable. They aren't hard and solid all the way through.

He then makes a comparison to people who hold their doctrines to be like bricks. They build up their wall out of each of the individual bricks. However, the bricks are hard and inflexible. If a brick is removed, or if it expands/contracts, the whole wall is compromised and it is only a matter of time before it comes crumbling down. Because of this, a ton of energy is expended defending the wall. Questions are threatening and upsetting because they represent a threat to the structure if the previously reached answers don't keep them away.

In his book, he gives the example of one teacher he once heard actually say that if the creation of the universe didn't happen in six, literal, twenty-four hour periods, then the cross is totally null and void. The cross didn't happen either. Sure, this is a little severe for an example, but you get the point. Forget the fact that the sun and the moon didn't even come around until day four of creation, to this person, his whole faith structure was threatened by the questions posed by a lot of modern scientists (let's avoid the evolution debate; I'm not making a case for it, and we can go there on another post).

I don't know that I will ever have all of my questions satisfied. I don't think that's important, though. What's important is the ability to explore those questions. There must be freedom to ask, even if there isn't an answer. I think of Jesus telling us that we must have child like faith to get into the Kingdom of heaven. Children need to have the freedom to ask lots of questions (been around any toddlers lately?), but they don't always get them answered. However, having their questions unanswered, or not answered satisfactorily, is not really a big deal to them. They just keep on asking. Case in point: Who presumes to be able to tell my wife why God took all of her family from her, and in such tragic fashion? Yet, it is integral to her faith to be able to ask that from time to time and explore the grief she still struggles with from it. There's something mystical about that whole process that helps her draw closer to God.

I am learning to treat my faith much more like a trampoline. I think Jesus wanted us all to come, even with our reservations, and jump on the trampoline of following Him. I think His way is the best possible way to follow. And so I continue on, even during times of difficulty. I ask plenty of questions. And I fall in love with Him more and more every day as I do it.

Wanna jump with me?

7 comments:

The Family Jewels said...

I'm jumping! I love the analogy and the ups and downs of jumping, too.

Tell Jen that I am praying for her that she finds peace and God's will in her tragedies. I know it was in the past, but it still hurts every day and with every milestone or holiday.

-T.

Delia said...

I love the last paragraph! I don't think this journey of faith that we go on could've been described any better...

I am learning to treat my faith much more like a trampoline. I think Jesus wanted us all to come, even with our reservations, and jump on the trampoline of following Him. I think His way is the best possible way to follow. And so I continue on, even during times of difficulty. I ask plenty of questions. And I fall in love with Him more and more every day as I do it.

That, my Brother, is exactly how I wish everyone looked at their faith and their love for Christ.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

What is the point of living, if you already know everything there is to know. Sounds very boring to me.

And love the trampoline analogy...though, be careful you don't fall off...hehe!

Niki said...

So you ARE reading the book I sent you! YEAH! I'll get reading too so we can discuss it. I'm LOVING that book! I'm jumping with you man! No more brick walls for me! I don't want them...don't need them...and I pray I don't have them.

Pilgrimguide said...

I'm just wondering how many try to jump on the trampoline with bricks securely locked in their hands. Wanting the adventure of the trampoline, but unwilling to let go of one or two bricks that were the foundation to their wall.

I'm jumping with you -- can I bring along my favorite brick?

KingJaymz said...

Rob - only if you check it before you jump and I get to throw it at you while on the trampoline. Then it would be useful (LOL).

Niki - Totally! I'm reading 3 or 4 books right now (see, Rob, you're contagious). I'm loving Velvet Elvis.

Sil - You're so right, but thinking almost all answers are had is what most people in Christendom are taught. They fear a faith with more questions than answers.

Delia - I'm glad you find this inspiring. I look forward to journeying on with you in our common faith.

Tonia - As always, I appreciate the encouragement. Thank you.

Anne said...

Those springs sound a lot like "sand". Just my opinion. Matthew 7:24-27