Reading time: 3 minutes
I heard two football players arguing about who was the better player. They traded insults until one finally played the trump card: “Oh yeah? Google me!”
I guess the assumption is that the more information there is about someone on the internet,
the greater they are as a person and contributor to society. I got curious and I Googled him. It wasn’t that interesting. There were plenty of stats and pictures, even videos, of his athletic exploits, but I don’t feel I know him any better.
Google is fine for what it does, but it will never satisfy my curiosity about you.
Everyone has a story, and every story is a treasure
I am so privileged to travel across The LCMS and learn more about who we are as a church body than I ever did in my previous thirty years as a parish pastor. I’ve heard your stories, and I’ve been greatly enriched.
I must admit that I’m still guilty of what they call the Fundamental Attribution Error. It’s so easy to travel to a new region of the country and falsely attribute certain characteristics to people I haven’t even met yet. “Okay, I’m spending the weekend with [insert group here: Texans, seminarians, deaconesses, retired pastors, city dwellers, farmers, golfers, missionaries, Lutheran school teachers…] I think I know what these people are like.” That’s a huge mistake. I don’t really know until I meet them, spend some time with them and hear their stories. Really listen to their stories.
(A side note here. Golfers are pretty much all the same.)
Curiosity is a gift from God, but its so easily neglected and lost
Intellectual Wellbeing is being endlessly curious about those around me, always ready to be surprised by the insights, wisdom and perspectives of people different than me. St James said it so well, “My dear friends, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19, NIV). That’s Intellectual Wellbeing.
God speaks to us every day through the treasured gift of His inspired and perfect Word. What a joy it is to get up every morning, to pray for the touch of His Spirit and open the Word, fully expecting that the God of heaven and earth has something new to share with me about Himself, His world, His mission and my part in His kingdom. He never disappoints me.
And what a joy to meet someone new and ask, “Tell me your story.” What a treat to spend time with those I know best, my family, my partners in ministry, my neighbors and friends and to be honestly and sincerely curious, fully expecting another surprise, a new insight, a new perspective when I hear the latest chapter in their stories.
We in the LCMS could use a little more curiosity about one another
I’m watching synod’s Koinonia Project with great interest. Pastors are gathering and asking one another, “What’s your story?” with true and sincere curiosity about one another. That’s Intellectual Wellbeing. I think it will prove to be very helpful for our Life Together.
I could Google you. I might learn a thing or two about you, but I’d rather hear your story. In fact, I’m looking forward to it! Whose story might you listen to today?
Thanks for reading.
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