X-Men Apocalypse was an OK movie. Not up there with Marvel's best, but entertaining all the same. The most memorable scene for me was Quicksilver moving faster than thought to rescue the students at a school while an explosion 'slowly' expands to engulf them.
Quicksilver is quick, but from his perspective he has plenty of time - real time appears to slow to a crawl.
We can't compete with his physical speed, but our minds can.
We think faster than we talk, which is a great advantage when studying, negotiating, planning etc. But if we are not careful it can be a handicap when spending time with friends.
When we are in conversation with someone, it's too easy for our thoughts to jump ahead of what they're saying. We miss out on what they are actually telling us about themselves and about what is important to them. This is particularly evident from the questions we ask.
We tend to ask closed questions, which invite a simple answer. When you ask, “Did you spend childhood holidays in the UK?" you're not asking them about their holidays, you're telling them to confirm what is in your mind.
If we slow down a little and actively listen, we'll learn so much more.
Open questions are much harder, but invite a more involved answer on their agenda. “What about childhood holidays sticks in your memory?”
We fall into the same trap when thinking about Jesus or reading well-worn Bible narratives. We can be quick to assume rather than explore.
A simple example is assuming that three wise men visited Bethlehem, because they brought three gifts. But the narrative doesn't tell us that. There may have been a horde of wise men, or only two.
More importantly, we may assume that following Jesus is a chore, but if you ask folk at Redeemer they will tell a different story. It's natural to superimpose our preconceptions on God and make assumptions based on those preconceptions. We ask questions of God with an expectation of what the answer will be, rather than open our minds to explore alternatives outside our expectations.
So, I have two challenges for you.
- Next time you are catching up with a friend, actively listen. Slow down and explore what they are sharing with you. You'll soon build a stronger friendship.
- Push aside your preconceptions about Jesus and explore what he has to say. If you do, you'll quickly discover someone surprising.
You can do both of these over a meal in a restaurant this Tuesday.
Redeemer will pay.
Redeemer is hosting 'Christianity Explored', an opportunity to ask some really searching questions.
Quick, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the details!