Which is the more valuable virtue; Certainty of our beliefs and perspectives, or, the courage to question our own opinions and willing adopt new understandings?
As a preacher I should be sure of what I believe right? I should be the one with the answers. But I don't. It frustrates me. Sometimes I can't make up my mind. I don't mean boxers or briefs by the way. I can't make up my mind about real issues.
Like music in worship. Sometimes it just seems like the traditional hymns do not speak a language that people understand; I mean, what is an 'ebenezer' and how do I raise it anyway? from the hymn 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing'
On the other hand, so much of modern worship music has no theological content. I don't mind if the music is simplistic, but most of these songs, understandable thought they are, don't communicate anything of value. I can't make up my mind.
Or a serious issue. Abortion. I was raised in a more biblically literal church in which abortion was always wrong. Just look at Jeremiah. God knew him while he was in the womb. Those who follow God should hinder the ongoing creation of God, ever.
Then I started to run in more 'liberal' circles, where we talked about women's rights, are pregnancy due to abusive 'relationships'. I changed my mind. But now it seems like we are doing theology more focused on 'human rights' than on the call of God, and I go back and forth, I can't make up my mind.
I just changed my mind again recently. Didn't even realize it. two conversations in a week on the same topic... two different opinions. Wasn't trying to be political for my own gain, or play games with people. I really just couldn't seem to decide where I was.
Should have been silent.
Which is the connection with my Lenten Prayer Discipline.
1 Corinthians 2.16:
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?’
But we have the mind of Christ.
I pray the Divine Office so that I can seek the mind of Christ. that is hope anyway. I'm just not as certain as Paul seems about the whole thing.
Seeking the mind of Christ means quieting my own mind, and the more I think of it, my mouth too.
Prayer as time to have my mind changed. Prayer as time to wait and listen for wisdom that just might change my opinion, my perspective. If I only get around to prayer when I have time, or when I am frightened or frustrated, might have a purpose. But I'm not sure that prayer changes me. Paul seems to think we will have the mind of Christ. That takes time, patience, silence, and a willingness to change.