Today is election day here in Florida, so I thought it might be appropriate to talk about “reason” as today’s 10-Minute Tuesday post.
I didn’t choose it; that really happens to be the prompt for today.
“Come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) seems like a good thing to do, doesn’t it? Only in today’s fractured and splintered world, “reason” seems to be the last thing people want to do.
Yell. Rant. Accuse. Complain. Those all seem to be more what people are doing these days. Fake news. Twitter politics. Innuendos instead of facts. We have lost our ability to talk to each other and listen. Especially listen.
I remember more than a decade ago when my church wanted to buy property across the street from my house. Which happens also to be right across the street from a large church of another denomination. We had to go through a rezoning process, which should have been fairly clear cut.
But a large contingent from the other church decided to appear at the zoning meeting to try to get the project cancelled. Their “reasoning” was that another church would create a traffic problem since they themselves wanted to expand their facility to include a retirement center and day care and other things of that nature. So, we shouldn’t move in because they wanted to expand.
I remember sitting there and praying that someone on the zoning commission would hear past the rhetoric to what was really going on. I was glad to note that one of the commissioners addressed that very issue. You want to expand, so you don’t want another church moving in.
Our request was granted that day, and we have been in our building for more than 12 years now. The other church has yet to do their expansion. We live fairly peaceably with each other.
I tell that story to illustrate that we need to listen to the whole story. We need to see what we’re not seeing. We need to be patient and ask good questions and not jump to wild conclusions.
As Civil Rights activist John M. Perkins says in a 2015 article in The Table, “I believe today, God is calling us to come and reason together. In a land marked by the sins of racism, sexism, and all the other –isms, where we can’t disagree without also hating one another, it is time to have some meaningful dialogue. It is time for a new conversation.”