Hang with me a minute.
I listened to a lady critiquing the tone and words in the world of theology, art, entertainment, and culture in general, and her words have truly given me pause.
What she said was that we so easily begin by, and are happy to, tear things up and deconstruct them. That deconstruction sets the tone of most of the issues of our world and even the supposed joyous place of entertainment. We want to critique and criticize.
It’s like I sense the Holy Spirit using that one minute plus observation from this precious lady to cause me to look inside myself and see if there is something better.
Not a sin versus righteousness thing. No. An ok versus better thing.
Whether good or bad, I don’t know, I default to the critique of things, and it is then easy to deconstruct them. I’m not talking about Jaque Derrida’s literary deconstruction as w worldview. No, I’m talking about taking things apart that don’t fit the kingdom of God and showing why they don’t fit.
That’s not evil, and I suppose it has its place. But, it’s easy, and it also carries a distinctly different tone than its opposite. What is its opposite? Building. Constructing.
Bob Roberts, Jr. is my spiritual father, and I love Bob’s tone and how he talks about anything. He’s a delight to listen to.
Ray Ortlund, Jr. is a person I don’t actually know, but I follow him and read him and listen to him, and he, in his own way, does what Bob does.
For a few years now, I have been telling my friends that I want to make sure I finish my race like Bob is and like Ray Ortlund are entering their sage years. Their passion is unmatched, but I rarely see them in any kerfuffle. Rather, I see them building things, and deflecting the criticism in favor of God’s praise.
What did this lady speak about, and what do I see in Bob and Ray Ortlund, Jr.? Construction.
Bob has a clear view of God’s horizon, and he knows where he is in relation to that horizon, and he busies himself building toward that horizon NOT critiquing everything that is running counter to God’s direction.
This is not to say that there is no place for critique and deconstructing ideas, but I’d better have a clear view of what God is constructing lest I spend too much time tearing down irrelevant things which is a waste of my time, and I may not be showing a proper vision of what God is actually doing that I want people to see and run toward.
I’m legitimately in a place of personal evaluation as to my personal mindset and how I’m going to implement that as a citizen of God’s kingdom.
Constructing ideas and practices that move people toward what is good and right rather than deconstructing ideas and practices that are counter to God’s kingdom.
Again, there is a place for deconstructing ideas and practices, and I feel I default hard to deconstructing in an out-of-balance ratio, and I sense a compelling to shift in a different direction.
If this sounds like a ramble that’s because it is. I need to process what I heard and why it’s giving me pause in self-evaluation.
Perhaps we all need to see clearly God’s horizon and begin building toward that in a more healthy way that likely is going to be how we will function for eternity in the totally renovated order of creation. I don’t believe we’ll be deconstructing that new order, rather we’ll be cultivating it fruitfully forever.
While running this thought past my Elder, Justin Owens, he said, “Reminds me of Nehemiah’s attitude. He’s preoccupied with the building the Lord has called him to.”
That captures what I’m trying to say well.
I believe building according to the Lord’s plan is a much happier enterprise than tearing down the walls of Mordor.