Our Common Life…

 My family gave me an iPad for my birthday this summer.   I’ve spent the last three months slowly beginning to explore its wonders and delights and to gather my first apps.  So far, the daily New York Times and the ability to watch an episode of Mr. Rogers whenever I choose are the top delights.  Among the wonders is an app called Zite, which many of you may use.

Here’s too simple an explanation of what it does.  I gave the Zite app a few of my interests.  From there, the Zite app began providing me with an array of fine magazine and journal articles in my areas of interest.  Nearly each time I finish reading an article, I am asked, “Did you enjoy reading this?” and I may reply yes or no.  If I reply “yes”, then a message appears: “You’ll see more stories similar to this one.”

I suppose, if I misuse my “yes” clicks, it’s only a matter of time before I am seldom offered the opportunity to see much with which I disagree.

So I must take care with those “yes” clicks.  I must make sure to tell the Wizard of Zite that I’ve enjoyed reading articles that invite me beyond my assumptions, prejudices, and habits of mind and heart so that I am not left to stew in a pot filled more and more with my own juices.

The spooky-comforting promise, “You’ll see more stories similar to this one”, has startled me back in to attending to a particular spiritual practice:  expectantly seeking the companionship of brothers and sisters with whom I have buy priligy online singapore experienced disagreement or with whom I have some reason to expect to disagree.  It is no great virtue simply to “tolerate” those with whom I disagree.  Tolerance is barely the starting block.  The opportunity for greater virtue and spiritual growth comes farther down the track, when we seek out brothers and sisters who click “no” in some of the spots where we click “yes” and abide with them and offer them our most open-hearted questions, and lean in toward them and listen, listen, listen for truth we might learn from them.  

My birthday is on the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul and I am deeply grateful to be drawn again and again to the wonder of these two saints intentionally being given a feast day to share!   Two saints who changed their minds.   And their hearts.  And their ways.  Two saints who each found a bigger view of God.  Two saints in whose lives we see that following Jesus involves a willingness to make u-turns. 

In our times of quiet, open prayer this week, in those hours we spent listening for and waiting upon the leadings of God, let’s seek God’s invitations and promptings to stretch beyond that with which we easily agree.  In the hours we spend this week at work and worship and service, in the hours we spend connecting and offering hospitality, let’s devote ourselves to leaning toward and listening for the fuller portion of God’s truth we may find in the company of those with whom we disagree.

Jonna Jensen, Associate Conference Minister for Eastern Iowa

5 Responses to Our Common Life…

  1. Anne Sunday says:

    Thank you, Jonna, for such an important reminder in our faith journey!

  2. Joanne DeLaHunt says:

    It helps to think what would Jesus do?

  3. Teressa Clark says:

    Thank you for taking care not to be enclosed in a comfortable, familiar circle. Too often the safety of the circle leads to thinking that all of God’s great creation is enclosed with us there. I think that’s why I liked today’s scritpure where Jesus teaches “Whoever is not against us if for us.” (Mark 9:40) It’s just so hard to be welcoming and inclusive of all “those people” who aren’t already in our little circles.

  4. Jacoba Koppert says:

    Thanks Jonna. Good thoughts as I serve in a facility operated by a denomination very different than our own.

  5. Mary Hatch says:

    Well—I had to do it over. Can I remember what I said the first time??? My reply went this way: Yes, in theory, to your article, but –and its that big “but” that stands in the way. “But” if you have family members who are of the strongest fundamentalist way of thinking and believing, what you do is never bring up the subject of religion. My brother and I decided a long time ago that we didn’t want our dissagreements to interfere with our love for each other, so we stay away from it. And it also helps to live a long way apart. Ha! However, I’m not sure that was what you were talking about, that is the extreme. I do think you can get along with people who you dissagree with, if you love them–and say a prayer when you come near them. Another, ha! Mary

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