Understanding that, while every human being is a gift, there are some who are also significant voices in the midst of cultural and idealogical transition. They are peacemakers and bridge-builders occupying the space in between disparate forces.
Rob Bell is one of these. He is sneaky smart, but incontrovertibly compassionate…and he is my friend. He is a humble human being, offering an invitation to something more beautiful, spinning off the brilliant colors of a magnificent Gospel.
I’m thrilled to have him contribute to our growing conversation today. Enjoy!
“This is the day that God has made.” [psalm 118]
Really-this day? the one with wars and poverty and divorce and addiction and betrayal? this one?
Yes, this one.
This one because there’s a difference between analysis and awareness.
Analysis pulls things apart, looks for cracks in logic, points out the inconsistencies.
Analysis needs things to make sense.
There’s nothing wrong with analysis, of course, it’s often vital to our survival and thriving. but if we stay there, in that mode and that mode only, we can easily find ourselves stepping back with arms folded, pointing out all that’s wrong with this day and all the ways it falls short and all of the evidence for why this particular day doesn’t appear to be the kind of day that God would make-all while this day passes us by. (This is very easy to do, by the way. it’s why cynicism is so popular. it’s easy.) But in this psalm-the one that says that this is the day that God has made- this psalm isn’t first and foremost about analysis, it’s about awareness.
And the difference is massive.
Awareness doesn’t ignore or gloss over the very real questions and pains of this day, it transcends all of that analysis with the very straight forward acknowledgement that whatever this day is, it’s a gift to be embraced and engaged and maybe even enjoyed.
This day may be be rough and bloody and heartbreaking but it is here and it is now and it is bursting with untold potential and possibility and our response to it is of utmost, urgent importance.
We may, it’s important to note, not get another one. my friend’s brother was recently killed in a car accident, another friend’s father just died, and the mother of another goes in for another round of chemo this week. you know exactly what i’m talking about-whatever this is, we’re all acutely aware that is very, very fragile.
So yes, this is the day.
These thoughts were originally published on Rob’s blog. Also, Rob just released his book, How to Be Here, where he helps people feel like they’re fully present, here, and nowhere else, creating a life worth living.