Wednesday, February 8, 2012

 I’ve made up my own creation story: The Creator has an idea., so gathers together the whole heavenly host to present it. But the hosts of heaven have their doubts. The Creator is very excited and says: ”I am going to make this great world where all the creatures will share in my whole being. Won’t that be great?” The host reply: “Why would you want to do that? Give the creatures your own life, next thing you know they will think they are you. Let’s just leave things the way they are.”

Now, the Creator could say: “I am in charge and this is the way it will be and if you don’t like it, go build your own kingdom.” Or the host could say: “Why do you want to create a world?” and the Creator could respond: “I don’t know. I just have all this energy and I have to do something with it.” Some of the heavenly host say they will help. Others go off to build their own kingdom. Those who stay help by pointing out potential pitfalls, since the Creator really had no sense of limits. But they share his delight in the final product and play key roles in how the creation grows and develops.

I imagine you have heard the expression: “There are two types of people in the world…”The speaker then inserts his or her philosophy of the moment. Most often, the formula is so simplistic that it really doesn’t mean much. I made my own cliché, as a joke: “There are two types of people in the world: those who fit into two types, and those who do not.” But recently, an experience with a diversified group considering whether or not to take on a new venture led me to another formulation, one that strikes me as pretty accurate: “There are two types of people in the world: Those who start at no  and reluctantly move toward yes;  those who start at yes  and only reluctantly move toward no. ” In starting a project, brainstorming an idea or entering a new relationship, how we
deal with each approach goes a long way in determining our outcome.

While I am fully wedded to my approach (guess which one it is, if you can), I had better not proclaim it to be the better approach. It is just the approach I prefer. So if I am intolerant of frustrated by and impatient with the other approach, my arrogance assures that the project will not succeed in a way that it will be enjoyed by everyone involved.

This is where our spirituality comes to play. Both approaches need to respect the other. When they do, argument becomes dialogue. One party brings the vision and
enthusiasm. The other assures forethought and care. But neither discounts the other. There’s a huge difference between “No! You are wrong,” versus “Let’s be sure to consider…” if you start at no, and between “You have no creativity” versus “Why don’t we give it a try step by step, with you monitoring each step until we find for sure whether or not it’ll work.” if you start at yes.

When we pass over from rigid adherence to our own way of doing things to
collaboration with others without negating our preferences, we acknowledge that the Spirit of God is with us all. We work as a community and the kingdom does come.

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