Types of Growth: Being Challenged
Continuing on my theme of growth, I seem to be viewing several experiences I've had lately with this lens. A lens that filters through the junk of the experience (all the negative stuff) and allows me to see with clear site what it is I am to take away from said experience.
I kinda like it.
This last month I was blessed with the presence of my friend Shannon, who currently lives in Budapest working as a missionary with YWAM. After about 2 years, she was finally able to come home for a while to spend January here in Kearney.
I have a fair amount of conservative friends, and a fair amount of liberals one. (On a political level, not a moral one.) I'll admit to avoiding conversations about politics with my conservative friends because #1) They tend to be more ignorant than they should be and #2) They are the BEST (or worse, depending on how you look at it) conversation-stoppers. This is NOT a sweeping generalization on conservatives - this just happens to be the case with ones I know. (Don't even get me started with the very conservative person I know who told me yesterday that it's only democrats who try to vote more than once in the elections, and that's why they are against voter-id cards. Because every Republican is an upstanding citizen who never thinks about committing crimes, and only Democrats are crooked.)
I would put Shannon in the conservative camp, due to her stance on gay marriage and abortion. But here's the something interesting: she is very much for gun control. As we had opportunities to talk this last month, she confessed to me she'd changed her mind about this issue after living in Hungary, where it is nearly impossible to get a gun and their violent crime rate is quite low. As we talked about several other issues, I found her heart to be much like mine - open, willing to learn and be persuaded, but at the same time knows what is right and what is wrong. And while I don't want to get into a post about moral relativism, I do want to say that dialogs such as ours in absolutely necessary for growth.
The more we talked politics, the more our connection increased. And I am convinced this is a good, no - great thing. Did she change my mind of some things? A little. Did I change hers? I think a did a little, too. But most of all, we realized that there are so many grey areas in our culture today, and that we really only have one choice: live our lives the best we can and seek God when choices like these come up. We both know that there is no perfect choice for president this year, but we do know that it isn't always about issues like abortion and stem cell research. It's about which person will makes the best decisions for the citizens of our country, and which candidate will work to create connection, like the kind Shannon and I created by talking and being open with one another.
Now that's the kind of growth I can get behind.