Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Wide Awake the Live Blog: Chapter 2

The Explorer

It should bring hope and meaning to our lives to know that God has created for a purpose.  In this world there are certain things only you can do.  Like Esther in the Old Testament you were put into your situation for just such a time.  Much of faith comes down to the way we respond to the situations of life, because our response declare what we truly believe about God.

Erwin McManus opens chapter 2 by writing:
It's an inescapable reality that if we're going to live the life of our dreams, it's going to take courage, willingness to risk, to attempt, to fail, to get back up.  To live a life bigger than ourselves requires going beyond words or even thoughts; this kind of life has to be created in our imaginations. And our imaginations must be continuously fueled by an insatiable curiosity (p. 35).

What he seems to be saying is that we need to continue to have a desire to learn.  No matter what our level of education maybe, what separates those people who achieve their dreams and those who don't is a willingness to continue to learn: new ideas, new skills, new experiences.  It is this desire to learn, to explore your curiosity, that gives chapter 2 its title: The Explorer.  Are you willing to explore?

On page 39 he writes; "Unfortunately, we who build our lives on the Scriptures are at times most in danger when we conclude all we need to know is in one book so we can be ignorant of everything else."  For Christians this is a dangerous place to be.  While we do not possess the same curiosity for everything, each of us has a desire for knowledge in some area.  I want to encourage you to nurture that curiosity whether it is in economics or knitting; in engineer or gardening.  Remember all truth is God's truth and we should never be discouraged about increasing our knowledge of the world.

Part of our design as human beings is to learn:
Human beings have an unlimited learning capacity.  You've been designed by God to learn.  Now that doesn't mean you can learn everything out there, but it means that  you can learn everything you need to know to properly inform your dreams.  Curiosity is essential for life.  Curiosity is essential for learning. Curiosity keeps you exploring (p. 42).
It is easy to zone out when it comes to learning.  We have TV News shows, talk radio, and millions of internet websites to keep us "informed," but more often than not we are expecting others to feed us rather than doing the hard work of learning for ourselves.

I liked this thought, "Real genius, real invention, is not about identifying a problem but solving it" (p. 45). This has gotten my mind churning. Could it be that part of our purpose in life is to see problems and the put our energy towards developing a solution? Part of my dream has been to develop discipleship materials for churches because the problem I see are churches full of attenders and very few followers of Jesus.  This would mean that exploring for me would be to discover ways to connect church goers with the reality that God has a higher call for their lives.

You and I have to see ourselves as part of the solution; "God seems to free the oppressed, end injustice, feed the hungry, bring victory, and do every good work through men and women who refuse to surrender to the problem" (p. 46).  Since God created us with free wills means that He has given us a responsibility in the choices that we make.  We can choose, when we see evil, to ignore it, to join it, or to fight against it.  If we are going to be citizens of God's Kingdom we have to choose to fight against the kingdom of darkness.  We must do our part to bring love and light into this world.

This point of caution is essential to remember while talking about curiosity:
The Internet is a popular way to extrovert the human imagination.  We are quickly and sadly discovering how dark the human heart can be.  What begins as curiosity can fast become corruption (p. 53).
We should not indulge all of our curiosities, otherwise we can be taken to some very dark places.  We need to surrender our imaginations, our minds, and our passions to God and allow the Spirit to guide them.

To discover the life of our dreams requires that we be explorers, learners, and pilgrims in this world.

Erwin McManus, Wide Awake, Thomas Nelson (2008)

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