I rarely go to a restaurant without a recommendation. Without knowing the details of somebody who has gone, I am usually reluctant to be the first. The one exception is when a restaurant is has established itself in a particular location and the evidence of its quality is its survival. I know this is a less than macho answer to the question of experimenting but it is a safe answer to the question of trying things new. Let others measure, take their results, evaluate and learn. Safe, easy, and avoids wasting one’s money!
The challenge with this occurs on multiple fronts. First, one often misses out on an innovative experience just because others have not taken the opportunity. Second, relying on others opinions is frequently an invitation to mediocrity. Third, one is often surprised with the experience because the answers to your questions didn’t appear t be consistent with the actual facts.
I am learning that using others to measure something for me isn’t always the best. Even relying on the answers to my questions can be a mistake in the making. Have I asked things in a way that allows others to fill in the blanks? Do I shape the answers by the questions? Are my ears looking for an answer which comes even when the person sharing wasn’t thinking along those lines?
Recently I have enjoyed coming back to several restaurants that were original finds. No advertisements, dining experiences, or recommendations to pull me in, just genuine curiosity. Perhaps this reminder should extend to my engagement with the Spirit. Don’t presume to know, just experience.
When some talked of experiencing Jesus’ words they were challenged; “You don't see any of the leaders believing in him, do you? Or any from the Pharisees? It's only this crowd, ignorant of God's Law, that is taken in by him—and damned.” (John 7.48, 49)
No leading indicators from their experience, just the original invitation that still stands today. We are invited to know what happens first hand. The experience is waiting like a free gift. Will we?
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