Being conventional is reasonably easy. It is safe, predictable, and steady. Yet, you will never get anything quickly by being conventional. It is unlikely that the top rung will ever come into reach. One may even find that convention becomes boring. However, it is also unlikely you will be a prime target, object of ridicule, or poster child of hatred.
In an all too brief conversation yesterday with a friend, he said that he tried to keep his mouth shut at the office. There are times when I passionately wished, begged, and prayed that I could do this! Unfortunately my desires for smooth sailing are hampered by the fact that I am rarely conventional. I don’t know why but by the start of the fifth decade in my life I am beginning to face facts. Convention and I are only partners when convention fits within an unconventional plan.
There is a problem with convention. Convention doesn’t usually include compassion because there isn’t anything the world measures as success in it. Convention isn’t about mercy, it focuses on justice. Convention isn’t about unconditional acceptance; fitting into convention is a mandatory cost of entry.
I am not trying to be critical of convention for convention’s sake. I am questioning the blind adherence to a type of behavior. I do wonder about accepting values and priorities that are not one’s own. I seriously question letting someone make my decisions for me. There are many situations in which we let convention rule without a single questioning thought. Do we understand why we give up our values and priorities to the group? Do we willingly choose the common path? Are we in control of our destiny?
Jesus faced a man in need. It so happened that the “day when Jesus made the paste and healed his blindness was the Sabbath.” (John 9.14) For that time, place, and culture this was extremely unconventional.
You and I face people in need, opportunities to make a difference, and forks in life’s path. This isn’t about convention. It is about values, priorities, and life itself.
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