” ‘When the unstoppable bullet hits the impenetrable wall, we find religious experience,’ said Robert Johnson. ‘It is precisely here that one will grow. ‘ It’s called the unstoppable force paradox, and I like to think of the unstoppable bullet as God’s sovereignty and the impenetrable wall as people’s free will. . . . when these two things collide . . . that’s where we make and break habits.”- Mark Batterson
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle, bearing with one another in love.”- Ephesians 4:1-2 (NIV)
As Mark Batterson concludes Day 13 of Do It for a Day, he stresses how hard it is to keep emotional, relational, or political balance in today’s politicized culture. Hence, Mark uses Ephesians 4:1-2 as a way to interrupt that pattern and keep our eyes on the prize. Thus, humility, gentleness, and patience enable us to walk the wire.
1. Humility. Pastor Batterson defines humility as thinking of yourself less. Not thinking less of yourself. Therefore, being humble involves a predecision to place other people first. Consequently, its default setting, Mark notes, is listening and learning from others. And that fosters a holy curiosity about other people.
2. Gentleness. Now more than ever, words matter. Tone also matters. In addition, psychologist Albert Mehrabian notes the following when it comes to credibility. We assign 55 percent of the weight to body language, 38 percent to tone, and only 7 percent to words. So, to deescalate a situation or break a vicious cycle, lower your voice and soften your tone.
3. Patience. We tend to think right here, right now. But God thinks nations and generations. Patience plays the long game – a long obedience in the same direction. Above all, patience puts things in eternal perspective.
In conclusion, Mark asks, are you a Here I am person or a There you are person? Because when we walk the wire, we view every person as not only invaluable but irreplaceable. The author explains:
“The epitome of unselfishness is breaking bad habits that hurt others. It’s making habits that add value to others. It’s one way we say, “There you are!”
Today’s question: How does the unstoppable force paradox foster your faith life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the March Short Meditation, “The test of compassion is in the and“