Stuck On Being “Right” Over Being Kind

by Mark Votava


I have been stuck on being right over being kind and loving so many times.  It is freeing for me to admit that most of my perceptions are probably wrong.  I don’t have the answers in life as much as I want to pretend that I do.

I’m sorry for all the people I have hurt as I try to be “right” over being kind.  I am coming to understand that living by what I think faith is will never be static.  It is about living in the present moment.  I cannot stay stuck in my perceptions of yesterday, last week, or two year ago.

It is all so uncertain.  And that is good.  My certainty can destroy me because a lot of the time it is an illusion of control that I fabricate to feel more secure.

Living more by my deep intuitions is more important to me than being locked into clearly defined theological concepts that I pretend to understand.  Maybe we should all approach life as Christian atheists who are not basing our spirituality in the past moments (days, weeks and years), but on the present moment today which is always fleeing and changing constantly.  This is exciting to me because no past structures of church or moments in the past will define who God is to me today.

I am free to be me in the present moment of this day, this month, this year.

I love the scene in the movie Garden State where Sam encourages her new friend Andrew to do something in this moment that no one in the history of the world has ever done.  Every time I see that movie this scene always stands out to me.  I want to see the unfolding of my present moments in life to mean that much to me as they did for Sam in the movie.

May we all embrace the uncertainty of each present moment that is constantly forming the shape of our lives as we become our true selves as our days unfold more authentically in the twenty-first century.

  •  Practiced with diligence and perseverance

Living by faith is uncertain.  We do not always known exactly how God is leading us all of the time.  The mystical imagination is very intuitive.  Living by faith is a way of life that needs to be practiced with diligence and perseverance.

  •  Our freedom and liberation

This is our freedom and liberation.  Sometimes we will not understand God’s leading and guidance, but that is what living by faith is about.  We have to do the best we can even when we do not understand.  The mystical imagination within will help us.

  •  Teachable, open to correction, ready to admit “I’m wrong”

Influential writer Brian D. McLaren says, “In a real way, faith is about constructing a model of reality…  This is why faith must always be growing, and why the disciple must always be teachable, open to correction, ready to admit ‘I’m wrong,’ and ready to think again… This is because none of us is so naïve as to believe that he or she has the whole cosmic theological equation figured out.  Nobody’s model is perfect.  We are constantly in the process of critiquing our model, adjusting it, recalibrating it…”

  •  Our spiritual formation

The mystical imagination is always about our spiritual formation as we listen to the context of life in the parish.  The mystical imagination helps us to seek God together in this way.  The mystical imagination helps us to live into a beautiful reality full of potential.

  •  God is hidden, but always revealed

We need to be open, ready and teachable in everyday life as we live by faith.  God is hidden, but always revealed through the particulars of the place we live.

How can we live in the present moment with uncertainty, openness and wonder?