Grounded Confidence Necessitates Practice
Questions are one of the surprises that can appear as we read the scriptures. Questions are a part of our faith.
Jesus asks the disciples questions. Jesus asks crowds questions. Jesus even speaks to the people who are wanting to put him to death in a questioning tone. And the disciples also ask Jesus questions.
The passage today, Jesus offers his response to the question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
I can see the disciples sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for Jesus to look at them. Instead, Jesus invites a child into his midst.
And the disciples are dumbfounded.
The disciples are confused, “Become like a child, Jesus?! We’ve spent our whole lives growing up! What in the world are you talking about? Have you lost your mind?”
(If you’ve never rumbled with vulnerability with Jesus, I recognize that last statement may read a bit like blasphemy. After all, how could Jesus lose His mind?)
That’s why we need rumble tools. Before I share a few tools, let me remind you of the journey you’ve been on with Jesus and courage.
You named your call to courage and explored what ordinary courage is all about (week 1). Then, you learned the definition of vulnerability and how following Jesus takes courage (week 2). You explored the difference between armored and daring discipleship (week 3) and learned about the empathy skills and your emotions (week 4).
Now, let’s add a tool to your toolbox. (See below) These rumble starters are intended to help you lean into vulnerability and stay curious – even when conversations start to get messy.
I imagine the disciples and Jesus seated on the floor eating dinner that night and one of them says, “Jesus, help me understand…when you invited us to become like children, what does that mean? What does it look like? How can we do that?”
Jesus, laughing, might have said, “Do I need to go over this again? I will. I can. I’m not asking you to transport back in time. Stop thinking literally. I’m asking you to have the curiosity, compassion, joy, and vulnerability of a child.”
“But, Jesus, there are laws we need to follow. How can we NOT be literal?” Matthew interjects.
“That’s a whole different conversation,” Jesus offers.
Then Jesus continues, “We’ll have plenty of time together to keep practicing the faith, learning a new way. For tonight, can we simply stay curious about what the LORD is doing in our midst?”
The twelve nod in agreement. They get it. Their nods are not a polite-go-with-the-crowd type affirmation. They are WITH Jesus. Just then, Matthew has to break the silence and says,
“Oh. Yes, Jesus. We can do that.”
Judas, “Sorry, Jesus. I didn’t mean to start a conversation so late. I misunderstood.”
“Thanks for clearing that up,” said James.
Their conversation turns to celebration about what the LORD is doing. They’re so curious to hear the stories of what is happening, their meal lasts late into the night.
All that’s left for Jesus to do is go off on his own and pray.
What would rumbling with vulnerability look like for you and Jesus? Refer to the rumble starters below.
Use the rumble starters to begin a conversation with Jesus or another person. Here are a few examples to help you get started:
Jesus, I’m wondering…How does your love multiply more when it is shared?
Jesus, help me understand…What happened to my dog when she died?
Walk me through, what can I do to help our friend who is hurting/has cancer/going through a divorce?
I’m wondering…What do I say to my neighbor who is moving?
Jesus, thank you for receiving my questions. I am grateful you hold the space for curiosity and wonder. Guide me as I seek to be still enough to hear you through others and bold enough to respond. Amen.
What rumble starter did you use today? If you didn’t use one, it’s OK. Reflect on your conversations and consider where a rumble starter may have helped you stay curious. You’ll find the Rumble Starters below.
Add these rumble starters1 to your toolkit.
When you recognize there’s a need to have a tough conversation, ask yourself which statement can help you get started.
When you’re ready to show up with your heart open to have an honest, faithful conversation, use these rumble starters to remain curious and present.
Finally, hold these rumble starters close throughout the conversation. They’ll help you stay curious in the midst of your conversation.
The story I’m making up is…
I’m curious about…
Tell me more…
That’s not my experience…
Help me understand…
Walk me through…
We’re both dug in. Tell me about your passion around this.
Tell me why this doesn’t fit/work for you.
I’m working from these assumptions, what about you?
What problem are we trying to solve?
What other questions can you ask to stay curious?
If you haven’t taken a moment to review the “Overview of It Takes Courage” please do so. You’ll find a few tips that will help you start this journey.