Eyewitness accounts rarely tell the same exact story. At a basic level, they may be similar, but the details often vary. Listeners find themselves rediscovering doubt when there is preciseness with two stories of the same event. How could they see it the same? Where the standing in the same spot? Did someone tell them what to say? Are their perspectives so similar that the experience resonated in harmony?
As I travel, I find my experiences vary significantly from those I am traveling with. Rarely is it a “bad” difference. We come from different backgrounds, have walked widely varying paths, and have unique approaches to how life unfolds. For a variety of reasons, we see things quite differently.
I have come to appreciate the differences as I reminisce with my brother about our shared childhood. There were times we went to different schools in cities that were a long ways apart, yet we shared most of our summers and holidays. As we retell the stories, there are times that I wonder if we are talking about the same event! Initially I needed our stories to match, at least on the major nuances. I have come to appreciate the differences, enjoying the discovery that comes when one looks at life from a very different perspective.
It is odd, in this context, to find myself wanting others to fit within a box when it comes to God. The premise appears to be that we should all see and experience God the same. Why? On what basis should I accept my premise?
There is a long history of different people at the same place and time walking away with very different views. On one occasion, “his companions stood there dumbstruck-they could hear the sound, but couldn't see anyone-while Saul, picking himself up off the ground, found himself stone-blind.” (Acts 9.7)
Today is an opportunity to walk into something new that will be uniquely personal. Instead of trying to fit in a box, we can enjoy shared journeys with varied experiences and wonderful nuances that come from walking together.
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