This probably won’t be so heavy as to justify being titled a rumination, but just a really random collection of ideas from Rob Bell’s Drops Like Stars event last night.
The circulating and connecting ideas were on creation, hurt, boredom, purpose, art, life, incarnation and the many ways that these truths are interconnected and how we are connected because of suffering and the art produced thereof.
We can own yet never possess. And we can possess without ever owning. As an illustration, he points out that he owns a high-end Rickenbacker. And occasionally he’d strum madly on it, but not with any sort of expertise. A friend would come in and make the guitar gently weep (my words, well George Harrison’s words, not his). He and his wife own a painting, but a friend came by and was completely in to the painting, delving in all the wonderful intricacies that are in the frames of the frames on the canvas – areas and subtleties and nuances and colors and themes that the owners weren’t even aware of…
Because of the incarnation, no one could ever say to God, “But you don’t understand what I’m going through…” Incidentally, one of the most powerful sentences you can hear from somebody else is, “I understand your pain.”
Oftentimes when we’ve made a mistake, we claim that we’ve wasted our time. But God wastes nothing. Two groups of students were given a project for their sculpting class. The first was to make the most beautiful project that they could by the end of the semester. The other was to make as much as they could by the end of the semester. At the end of the project, Group 1’s work was far less appealing than that of Group 2. G1 had sat around theorizing all possible manner of getting the “right”, the “perfect” opus. G2 had tried and failed and learned and tried and failed and learned and tried. And failed. And learned. Their final pieces were infinitely better than the other group’s.
Are we bored? Are we living somebody else’s life? Do we not know how our lives could be filled with purpose? It’s through love, through helping others. That’s how we fit into a larger, cosmic purpose set out before us, long before our time. God designed us to love, to feel each others’ burdens, to pick up our cross, to delight to be of service…
May we see with creativity, may we see with the wide-open eyes of a child.
If you can, I’d encourage you to go see it. Chicago was the first stop. If you see a bunch of weirdos walking around in black Michigan-shaped T’s, follow them around… I just think it’s a great experience to hear freshness again.