“I thought the time for debates was over. Don’t you realize that the truth is obvious? Can’t you get it through the haze how important this is? When are you going to come to your senses?”
I have heard this line repeated, usually on the receiving end, so many times that I can sense, almost feel intuitively, what the next question is going to be, in what order, and in the degree of intensity. What is obvious to one is not to another. What is on a critical path isn’t even on another’s radar. What is topical, relevant, and foundational is irrelevant, unimportant, or superfluous to another. I often find myself deep in the conversation before realizing that while I may view our exchange as critical to life itself my opposite simply does not. Our dialogue is often so far apart that finding common ground is almost impossible.
You see this play out in politics of all types. Yesterday’s issues are tomorrow’s assumptions. What may be a minor talking point will, in a matter of a moment, day, or week, grow into a critical turning point. Ideas become reality and platforms on which to build a career depending on an invisible tide of support that manifests itself as action. The question that remains is often the most unpredictable. What triggers the change? Is there a common thread to enlightenment? Can we help others through their mountains or are we doomed to walk alone?
Joel notes that “wild animals, dying of thirst, look to you for a drink. Springs and streams are dried up. The whole country is burning up.” (Joel 1.20) And the implied question sits pregnantly unasked. “When are we going to realize the God of compassion, mercy, and eternity can help?”
The answer is both harsh and full of hope. Others will realize God can help the moment that we do. Others see God when we give God away in our choices, actions, and movements. God is bigger, more colorful, and more dynamic than anyone realizes. The trigger to the shift is our “yes”.