I like to think myself an agent of change. I like to move the furniture around for no other reason than it has been in the current position for a while. I have a condition that does not allow me to own a car for more than about 3-4 years. Basically I seek ways to change what is happening. I recently found that Doug Pagitt discovered a label for this personality type, a “contrarian”. It is not that we are not happy with what is happening we just wonder, is there a better way to do this. As you may know my secret twitter id is @PCUSA4change. The whole point of this account it to spread the propaganda of the contrarian lifestyle to all who will listen and in particular to thumb our nose at the tall steeple pastors who seem to be against change. (so far 138 people have found it interesting enough to follow)
The one thing all these things have in common is that I bring them upon myself. However, when the change comes from an external source it is not nearly as easy to deal with. I am facing some of these changes in my life right now. All of a sudden it is not me asking what is wrong with this picture but somebody else telling me something about what I am doing seems wrong. It is not easy to be told you are wrong. It’s even harder when it is about something you have a great deal of passion about.
This has led to a lot of doubt about what I am doing and what I am called to be doing. I have been questioning all the questioning I do. I wonder if I am going about it right or if I am way off base. Today I watched a TED video @ggbolt16 was promoting shortly after the PC(USA) vote on 10-A had officially passed. It featured Kathryn Schulz. She wrote a book recently called “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error”. Her talk really struck me. I reiterated to me that I am afraid of being wrong. I am afraid that I will be shown to be a fool. I am afraid that I will be laughed at. But this was part of her point. She pointed out that long before Descartes ever said “I think therefore I am”, Augustine said “Fallor Ergo Sum” (I doubt therefore I am). Taking chances and being wrong is a major part of what makes us human. Asking questions may not be the comfortable way but it is distinctly human and something that separates us from much of the rest of creation. It is what allows us to find our way forward to make progress as the human race.
I once heard it took Edison hundreds of tries to get his light bulb to work. He was trying to design a new light bulb because they were too expensive and unreliable and he asked “why?” Because he was willing to keep on asking why and trying again he achieved a practical electric light bulb and changed the world.
So while I have no idea what my future holds, I do know that God will use it to continue to use my passion for the work Christ has called me to. I know that being a radical follower of Jesus means action not apathy. And I feel with all my heart that Jesus was a contrarian too.
as a foot note my wife is not a contrarian. She could use some prayers in time of change like these.