I don’t know about the rest of you but, when I hear  new paradigms in my life, my deflector shields seem to just automatically snap into place.  Sort of a My life is pretty much in equilibrium here . . . don’t mess with it!  kind of an attitude.  You ever do that?!

It’s interesting how when we hear or read something that challenges our current paradigms . . . especially in something as foundational as our faith life we all react and process it differently.

My wife Kris, for example, takes in the new information with sort of a that’s nice attitude and adds it to her belief system or tosses it out . . . pretty much immediate processing.

Me on the other hand . . . I tend to process things In terms of absolutes . . . black or white . . . right or wrong.  When I discover something that challenges my paradigms . . . especially my faith, my first reaction is that I’ve had it wrong all this time!  Ever do that?!

Thankfully, I am learning more and more about myself as I mature (OK, perhaps mature is a strong word . . . perhaps get older is more appropriate!).  But the good news is that I now have learned to not take my life so seriously.  Now, that is not to say that we should take nothing in life seriously . . . but seriousness needs not to be our full time jobs.

I’m sure that each of us can see ourselves somewhere in this spectrum of processing new challenging ideas . . . especially to our faith.  So, as we consider Bell’s book or any other influence which challenges our current faith beliefs and where heaven and hell might really be . . . at least we can do so knowing that we too have had a faith that has worked in our lives.  A faith that we truly believed God is with us, guiding and directing us a lot of the time.  A faith in which much of the time we can sense God’s nudging.

To say that we had it wrong all this time is probably too strong.  To say that a new paradigm may be a healthy way for my faith to grow even more is probably correct!

Who ever said that the way we think about our faith in God is the way God wants us to see it?!?!  After all, our current relationship with God has been largely influenced by our upbringing and teaching . . . oh yeah. . . . by other humans from their paradigms!

My experience is that while we all have to guard our hearts . . . we also have to allow new ideas and perspectives through.  It is through the continuous challenging of where we are that we can move ahead!

Let’s all continue to read . . . go to conferences . . . retreats . . . and study . . . and in so doing,  strengthen our faith!

Thanks for reading . . . Blessings!

Pat

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