Inconvenient truths

Somewhere in the late nineties, when I had just begun my work as a pastor in a nursing home, someone ask me this: do you have to do other things as well, like typing… or cleaning? Uhh, no, of course not, I replied. I am the pastor, not the cleaning lady or the secretary. I have my own work to do. The person I was talking to, took a long, deep breath before she dared to ask her last and final question: but surely, you can’t talk about God all day… can you?
I can’t remember exactly what my answer was at the time, but it was something like: of course one can talk about God all day, why not? There are lots of people in this world who talk about sports or music or cars all day. Or money! Bankers, stockbrokers, exchange agents talk about money all the time, and not just them. Talking about money – and all the stuff that comes with it like possessions, gains and losses, interest rates, loans, taxes – has become a very normal thing to do for many people these days.
We live in a materialistic world to such an extend, that no one even wonders anymore. And I am pretty sure that the lady who ask me the question, never even considered asking a banker: but surely you can’t talk about money all day, can you? Of course she wouldn’t. That’s how normal it has become.
Now how did that come about? When did talking about God, as compared to non-spiritual, materialistic items, become a problem? Why are people annoyed and irritated when it comes to talking about God and all those things we somehow think of as related to God. Things like peace, justice, charity, forgiveness, spiritual growth, fulfilment, joy, love.
I am not completely sure, but I am pretty sure that the people who talk about God, the preachers and pastors, the caretakers and the peacemakers are vastly outnumbered by those who fill their lives with money, wealth, possession and spend most of their time talking about it. And yet, the money-people are annoyed, irritated. Why? What angers them?
What feels to them as a threat is the fact that the people who talk about God, see, hear and experience what is wrong and dirty and rotten in this world. And more so – and that’s where the inconvenience comes in – they criticize and condemn these wrongs, like the prophets did in earlier days. They condemn the materialism, the selfishness, the greed, the abuse, the neglect, the hunger for power.
Admitting that lots of things in this world are not quite okay and will have to change is something most people will easily do. But when it comes to the point that YOU have somehow contributed to this mess and that YOU have to change your way of life to make this world a better – safer, cleaner, happier – place… well, that is a message many people rather don’t listen to.
Because first, and we all know that, people don’t like changes; and second, and we know that too, changes never come singular. They always come manyfold. So, suppose you agree with one little change, it will soon be another one and another one. And before you know it, your whole life is turned upside down.
Well. That’s why inconvenient truths are inconvenient and why many people don’t like to talk about God all day.

Één reactie op “Inconvenient truths”

  1. Just this morning I was talking about God with my Syrian friend. Only his name was different, our truths and feelings about him were the same as was our love for Him. Love to you and love for your writings….🙏💕

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