Scary Answers

I teach a class called “Imagination” as part of the core curriculum for Entrepreneurship at OSU.  The OKSU OSU.  I teach and assign projects in an “Open Ended” manner, on purpose.  Even when I explain, “If I tell you how to do a journal entry, and what topics to cover, I would not have seen the 20+ formats I have seen work creatively for  so many students.”

Three students will drop the class immediately when we leave the room.

One bright eyed, intent student will ask, “How many words do you want in an entry?”

We have taught students in years of schooling that there is one correct answer, the teacher’s way of doing things, and no matter what the teacher says, she is absolutely looking for one answer in the discussion.  She will smile through all the other answers, but she ends the discussion when we arrive at the right answer.

In creativity, and in innovation, we can find hundreds of answers, and all might work. — with work.

Christianity seems similar.  Many people accept that we are a mess, in need of saving, and God did this elaborate, astonishing thing in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that we only have to accept.  One answer.  Does not demand too much to accept.

Craig Groeschel preached this morning in his Selfless series.  He described how to see God in the moment (even in the grind) and develop new answers, new growth, see the tough things through to the end.

Crickets.  Twenty people applaud, and the rest sit in super quiet mode, eyes a little glazed over.  Millions of correct answers — with work.  Too much for some people.

The on”oanswer fits all” is a great way to build audiences, to increase church attendance.  The millions of possible answers, the kind we must work out not knowing if we are right, trusting through the falling on your face times, and trusting God is guiding — builds Christ followers.

Graduate from the answers Someone else constructed, so you only have to answer “I accept” or “I am afraid” to the answers that mutate, grow, stretch us, slap us into next week, and force us to depend on God to follow God.

It is scarier, more demanding, and full of pitfalls, like all good adventures.


I know.  It is borrowed.  Like the ground where my home sits, the air I breathe, and the wife I love: all lent to me for a time.

That may help in thank yous and thanksliving with which I am struggling today.  This may be the only “I am struggling with thanksgiving” blog of the day, but I still must800px-Fall_Leaves write it.

You know the aggravations: a letter from the IRS, your phone is shattered, now you can’t finish the building project in time for someone to use it – again, and your body is betraying you in new ways. Beautiful leaves that must be raked. . . .  Whine.  Complain, and so on.

Entitled.  I don’t like it when I sense it in others, and like any adolescent; I can’t smell it seeping out of my own skin, covering my eyes, nullifying my touch, pervading my thoughts.

I act as if any of it really belongs to me.  Studies on empowerment show ugly things about us, and the attitude comes quickly with very little at stake.

But, all is on loan.  All will be “turned back in” in, well, a shorter time than I probably think.  Even with my beloved, our vows we spoke said, ” ‘Til death us do part.”

King David said, “Like a servant looks to the hand of his Master, so I look to the ‘Giver of all Good Gifts’.”  David, a king, was smart to know he owned much the same as his servants.  Nothing.  He was steward of an entire country, though.  That heavy weight made him profoundly “response-able”.

Thanking Someone for what has been loaned makes more sense than thanking yourself once a year for what you think is yours ‘by right’.  If it were yours, couldn’t you hold on to it one second after death?

So, my question today is, “Does my thanksliving attitude make me more response-able?”  And, “Does my response-able preparedness make me more creative and innovative?”

Like a clueless man, staring at the hand of the Giver of All Good Gifts I alternately cringe and grow expectant.  I suspect David’s translation is smarter.

So, I’m grateful for my next breath, dinner tomorrow with the family, wind, leaves I am able to rake, and you.  For the time we’ve been loaned.