Wednesday, March 4, 2009

From my reading this morning and the Mormons

Do not refrain from speaking at the crucial time, and do not hide your wisdom.
For wisdom is known through speech, and education through the words of the tongue.
I read this this morning. I'm not going to say where it's from because I don't want anyone who might read this to bring any preconceived notions about it...but if you know, leave it in the comments and I'll be impressed; so impressed, in fact, that I'll buy you lunch or dinner or something.

This is something I tend to wrestle with quite a bit. Most people know that, for better or for worse, I don't tend to say much. I usually only speak if I think my comments are absolutely necessary, and often I don't say anything even if I do think it's necessary. I'm perfectly content with allowing the conversation to go on without my input; I guess having a conversation with me is probably pretty dull.

At any rate, I'm trying to change and be a little more outspoken because there is a time for everything, even speaking, just as it is said in Ecclesiastes, and I'm realizing that I can add more to a discussion than I have previously thought. This was made blatantly apparent this past weekend when some friends and I met with some Mormons. There was tension in the air at times, but overall it was a very good night. My only tangible contribution in the two hour dialogue was a comment about the Dead Sea Scrolls lending evidence to the accuracy of the Bible. The rest of the time I was thinking about different passages of scripture that would apply to whatever topic we were on at the time.

After the Mormons left, the group discussed what had talked about, and it was in this quorum that I expounded on what I had been thinking. At this, a friend asked, "Why didn't you say anything? That would have been really beneficial." Initially, I was taken aback, and didn't have a response. I thought to myself "Really? I didn't think it was terribly insightful at the time..."

My initial hesitance to speaking was due to my not wanting to come across as combative because I really like to get into debating, but that's not the whole story. The next major component to why I didn't speak was because I thought everyone else was probably thinking the same thing and made the same connections I had. I assume this because among my friends present that night, I was probably the least "churched" one there. As far as I know, everyone else had essentially grown up in the church; I didn't start until high school. Given this, my conclusion was that everyone knows at least what I know as far as Biblical knowledge is concerned. The final component to my refrain from speaking that underpins all else is that I am quite insecure about what I know. During my few years on this earth, I have amassed a fair amount of knowledge, but am daunted by the copious amounts I have not even begun to approach. I believe it was Newton who said something to the effect of: I have been but a boy playing by the seashore finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell while the whole ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me. How much more thoughtful was Newton than I? I don't feel like I have any authority to speak about anything, nevermind the ability to compile, organize, and communicate it effectively.

These two experiences, the reading and the Mormons, have shown me that I need to make my thoughts more public regardless of my attitude towards them. Some of what I say may be beneficial; maybe even a lot of it. Some of what I say will be shot down. If I don't allow my ideas to be tested no one will ever know. And, that would not be efficacious for anyone, not the least of which would be myself.

-Jon Husen

1 comment:

  1. hey jon,

    i just wanted to let you know, i'm stalking your blog :) you have a ton to offer and a ton to say--i respect your thoughts, even if you don't realize they're profound :)

    and p.s. i know where that "Quote" is from, but I cheated. my guestion is, how do you know? cuz that's awesome.

    see ya yo