Wednesday, October 28, 2015


My friend Dick is 105 years old. When he was a kid, growing up in rural Washington state, he built a crystal radio set. Of an evening he would carefully move the needle, trying to tune in on a station. Sometimes he would pick up a signal from a station in the Midwest bouncing off of the ionosphere, and sometimes--to the whole family's delight--it would be a music program.

When I think of sin I think of that crystal radio set. We can endeavor to be attuned to God's intent in any given moment. God's intent is Shalom, which is goodness, wholeness, flourishing, beauty, peace. Often we "miss the mark" of aligning with God's good intent and, to the extent that we do, we miss (or at least diminish) the Shalom that might have been. But God is always speaking, always "broadcasting," if you will. And so at every moment we have the opportunity to adjust our reception.

I like the way that the Buddhists talk about this in terms of "skillfulness." What a Christian might call "sin" a Buddhist might call being "unskillful." The implication is that we continually have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and become more "skilled" at listening to the Spirit and following Jesus (or, back to my original analogy, more adept at attuning ourselves to God).



Blogger Daniel Wilcox said...

You wrote, "Often we "miss the mark" of aligning with God's good intent.."

So true. The worst of it however is that too often we "miss the mark"
because of our theology, our sense of how "right we are."

I am in the midst of reading more books on the American Civil War. What comes tragically through all of the accounts is how spiritual people both in the Union and in the Confederacy thought they were the good, honorable, and Godly, while the other side were the ones unjust and ungodly.

7:10 PM  

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