I found myself in an interesting and frustrating conversation last night. I was meeting with a group of friends and had reserved a room via the internet at a particular location. Another friend who works at that location was there and insisted the room I booked had not been booked. He said he saw the webpage of bookings and we weren’t on it. I was frustrated because I’d just checked that same day and had seen that booking and others that I’ve made for other dates. I was uncertain because it’s a fairly sad little engine that is used by the website to book the rooms.
Coming away from that experience though I wasn’t thinking about the webpage or the booking process or the room, I was thinking about who was right.
And here’s the thing, my friend who works there is absolutely confident that he was right. He had seen it with his own eyes. At the same time, I was sure I was right because I’d seen it with my own eyes too. If he’s blogging today, he’s writing about that exchange with complete confidence that I was making my booking up, after all, he knows I didn’t book the room, he saw the page himself earlier that day.
It reminds me of a few weeks ago when my daughter was possibly not going to get exempted from her final exams because she had an assignment that hadn’t been ‘turned in’ via data transfer over an intranet system at her school. She swore she’d turned it in, she promised, she was prepared to make whatever promise necessary to convince us, and her teacher, that she turned in her work. However, her teacher told her that it wasn’t in the folder it was supposed to be in. They were both adamant in their version.
When I first became a Christian I was taught that, when it comes to the Bible, there is a right understanding and wrong understandings. A book we read for one class explained why people don’t all see the Bible alike (like US, it meant). The reasons were basically: sin or stupid. Truthfully, I still have friends in ministry who see it this way. Everything is black and white with the Bible for some, simple to understand, simple to know how to apply it to life.
Reading, continuing to learn and to ask questions since I graduated from my “education”, talking with others and developing relationships with people who clearly love Jesus but still come to different conclusions than I do about the text, force me to reconsider what I believe about simple. For me this means approaching the search for and discussion about ‘truth’ with grace and humility.
Because of all this I’ve got friends who think of me now as a “liberal” when it comes to my theology and my view of the Bible. Oddly, from my perspective, I believe I’ve taken a more biblical approach to Scripture than they have and hence, become more conservative. Things that were so obvious to me when I walked down the aisle at my graduation from Bible College have become mystery and many mysteries of that day have become my personal experience with God.
When I got home last night the first thing I did was get on the computer and check that booking reservation for the room we used.