You don’t have to spend much time on life’s cause and effect treadmill, to realize that making it up as you go along is like a Vegas weekend – the odds are going to catch up with you sooner or later. So either you can choose to learn to read the road signs of your life, or you can just pretend that the current road your on will eventually lead you to where you want it to end up. But whether it’s about reading the road signs or reading the tea leaves, it’s all a matter of interpretation – so maybe it’s about time we all begin to take more seriously our role as interpreters.
Linguists will tell you that it is seldom, when translating from one language into another, to arrive at a simple one for one translation – that in fact an accurate translation requires contextualizing the intent. Given that every language is embedded with subtle shades of cultural idiom, a faithful translation must take into account the prevailing customs and ethos, in order to even begin to convey intent. Then add to that, the multiple layers of the immediate context of the topic being discussed – the translator must have a good working knowledge of the particulars of the topic in question. For those exegeting scripture, they have the added complication of trying to divine the ancient cultural mindset . . . without imposing their own modern thought process.
So now let’s imagine for a moment that I applied the forensics of exegesis to your life, attempting to inductively contextualize your intent – using nothing more than your words and deeds set against the backdrop of our current culture . . . would you be able to recognize yourself at the conclusion of my interpretation? Is it easily apparent to others what you intend your life to be? It is rare for a person living with the disconnect of cognitive dissonance to ever realize their conflicted condition . . . without a crisis tipping point forcing their hand. This is why it’s so important that you exegete your life as you go – in order to discover whether or not your living intentionally.
There are many hard humbling questions we must be willing to face, questions pregnant with expectation of what God might be calling us to within the context we’ve been given. Culturally, we find ourselves at a unique point in history, where our anthropological moorings are not only being re-defined, but are being re-invented out of whole cloth. So in this flux of context, there grows an acute need to anchor what you believe, and to intentionally live out your calling . . . to strip down your confession to the essentials.
It is our spiritual discipline as sojourners to soul-search. Along with St. Augustine, we must freely confess that there are rooms in our heart we have not allowed God into, and that the key to those rooms has long been lost, so we must invite God to break down those doors, and make of our lives an outpost of his presence. In this way our discipline of faith isn’t merely a vague imagining of what might happen – but an intentional longing after God . . . a longing that we might be changed.
This is a song from a Mo Leverett project that I recently finished producing.
I love the vulnerability of it – the honesty of it’s self-evaluation.