Brick Wall, Trampoline, or Something Else?

A small paragraph from 1 Corinthians 10 has been bouncing around my head these past weeks. I have several threads of thought so this post might be a little more disjointed than the ones I usually write. Nevertheless, I think I need to take a few moments to capture some of my thoughts and express them. It’s one of the ways I think. I would appreciate any thoughts, comments, or reactions my words spur in anyone who happens to read this. Incorporating and responding to the thoughts of others is another of the ways I process thoughts.

As I write this, it occurs to me that I should put a general caveat somewhere on my blog that anything I write on a given day expresses my reaction and understanding on that particular day. I may or may not have the same understanding or reaction on another day, whether that day comes years, months, weeks, or days later. Heck, I might not have precisely the same reaction later in the same day. As things I have written accumulate on this blog, it’s perfectly possible that something new I write might express a differing or even opposing view from something I’ve written in the past.

That doesn’t bother me at all. It’s the process and story of my life. A friend of mine was once taken by the opposing descriptions of the structure of belief as a brick wall or a trampoline. In the former case people spend a lot of effort shoring up the wall and if the wrong brick falls out, the whole thing collapses. Whereas, the latter has a strong framework, but a lot of freedom within that framework. He saw himself as moving or having moved from the brick wall to the trampoline and found the analogy very fitting.

Me? I would say the trampoline has too much structure, is too rigid, and is too unyielding to describe my process and internal experience. One analogy I’ve used is that of a river. Sometimes it is calmer. Sometimes it’s raging through a flood stage. But it’s always moving, with currents and eddies you may not be able to see until you’re caught in them. In that river, I may have a few fixed constructs or formations — a rock around which the waters part and swirl or a bridge that rises above them. But never anything as fixed or stable as the image of a trampoline.

Another image I use is that of a large pot of homemade soup. It’s bubbling and swirling as you add ingredients. The ingredients cook and intermingle in ways that are not always obvious. You taste and add things as you cook, moving toward a goal that may not be clearly defined but which you will recognize if you achieve it. The soup never stays in any one state nor is it ever exactly the same every time you cook it. Hmmm. The bubbling cauldron of soup is not merely an image for my internal process, but also captures  much about the manner in which I perceive reality.

Well, I’ve rambled about my inner state and have written nothing that I originally intended to write. But I think I’ll just change the title and let this post stand as written. I’ll try to write the post I originally intended to write for Friday.

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  • By Scott Morizot on June 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

    New at Faith & Food: Brick Wall, Trampoline, or Something Else?

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