Both/And/And Paradox

Both/And/And Paradox!

This seems a strange mixture of wording!

However, our call as Christians is to both develop a strong, base DNA and also to be open to change in any arena of our lives. On the surface,  this is a paradox, two truths that appear to be opposites.

Now non-negotiable core beliefs and a willing embrace to change may seem to be opposing impulses. Strong, deeply held values and beliefs may suggest a conservative instinct to shrink from change. A change-ready attitude may imply a willingness to abandon any belief in the relentless drive to stay ahead of the curve. These two viewed separately are “deserts” leading to spiritual dryness and wandering.

Both/And/And Paradox!

By contrast, live at the intersection of this Both/And paradoxical tension. This sets a strong spiritual DNA as our baseline coupled with a willingness for change. Now we experience the rest and joy in the center of the river of God’s delight. Now experience more of His refreshing presence and power. Those who know who they are and where they are going and what is nonnegotiable liberate themselves for confident experimentation.

In self-leadership, well defined anchoring values and goals enable ambitious innovation and adaptability leading to healthy change. Our core values must incorporate an engine for change and adaptation. Learn from “living feedback loops” garnered from the people and events surrounding me.

The result is self-awareness.

Authentic self-awareness frees us to be flexible and adapt. Now new ideas, cultures, and personal challenges may present never-ending opportunities to refine self-understanding and release ingenuity for problem-solving. Those who live primarily either active lives or contemplative lives deprive themselves. Such people miss out on the rich self-knowledge that comes from being contemplatives in action-learning by doing. And also learn to also reflect comfortably on all aspects of Both/And/And paradoxes so we learn from change. Pray with “one foot raised,” prepared for action.

4 thoughts on “Both/And/And Paradox

    • I’ll put this on my “to-do” list of future blogs. I think this is crucial. At least in our Western society in the 20th century, it seems like we are more comfortable with either/or thinking than with both/and thinking. This means we let go of one side of the truth in order for it to make more sense to us. Our God’s thoughts are way beyond our own. If I could understand everything about my “god,” then He would be a “god” made in my image and not large enough and grand enough to meet the deepest needs He created me for. I try to practice a “theology of awe and wonder,” studying what He has revealed, yet using those things I don’t understand as a trigger to worship, putting it in my Deuteronomy 29:29 bucket,” waiting for more insight.

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