Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shallow answers to deep questions

There's a man on the radio proposing a simple strategy about giving up your car. He is not saying that everyone should do this, or that it is practical that everyone should. He is not saying that a car is a bad thing, an unnecessary bit of equipment that destroys the environment and a danger to life.

But you'd think he had from some of the immediate responses. "Try living in rural West Wales without a car," was one text. "How do you go shopping with a family?" was one question asked. I grew up in a village with a limited bus service. We survived and we didn't even have our own dedicated telephone line. Shopping trips were made by bus and were a day out not a daily excursion.

My point is this: how easily do we get angry and upset with an idea primarily because we fail to engage with the idea beyond a very superficial level. We think we understand way before we actually understand. We open our mouths before our brains have done any useful listening and reflecting.

The lesson is simple. We must slow down, and listen more than we speak. It's always easier to produce a knee-jerk response to any question. And that is never more true than in deepening our discipleship. There are no shortcuts to a deeper walk with God.

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