Things Hidden – the challenge of newness

1Things Hidden,
Scripture as Spirituality,
Richard Rohr

“We need transformed people today, and not
just people with answers.”  Richard Rohr

Ok, I’m back
with a few more blog posts on Richard Rohr. 
I really can’t explain why Rohr’s writing has captured so much of my
imagination and spirit these days.  It
could be that it is the quote above that captures what I’m searching for in my life
in these moments.  I’m searching for
transformation, newness, revolution, and astonishment…in other words, something
different than what most of us are getting in spades. 

I picked up
Rohr’s earlier works, Things Hidden,
because of a few things I heard Rohr say when I was listening to one of his
lectures online.  So, after a few days of
impatient waiting for Amazon to do their job, I opened my smiley box and
removed the book yesterday anticipating exactly what I’ve received so far.  The opening page articulates precisely what
I’ve been feeling of late – that our culture and, yes, even and especially our
churches, are STILL fascinated with answers more so than experience.  Being right is more important than being like
Jesus.  Being doctrinally on the correct
side of the fence is more important than living as a person who’s the
contemporary incarnation of the power and presence of God.  

Rohr quotes
someone I hadn’t expected him to quote early on but this is a very helpful

“The world fears a new experience more than
anything.  Because a new experience
displaces so many old experiences.”  D.H.

I read that
and audibly yelled out, “YES!”  It was
one of those “eureka” moments when you see or experience something SO TRUE that
it catches you delightfully off guard.  
I would put that statement up against ANY of the issues I’ve faced in
many of the circles of life in which I live. 
Whether it be family, relationships, local church life, theological and
academic pursuits, even political debates, no one wants the new they ALWAYS
fall back and depend upon the “old” because it shields them from change.   Just
today, after weeks of being harassed by some of my “gym” friends, I finally
tried a different workout class.  Yes, it
was a Zumba class and, NO, I can’t dance. 
But I tried it anyway…I was uncomfortable but over time relaxed enough
to have fun with the music and get in a few good moments of cardio exercise.  I have to keep pushing myself for new
experiences…why?  Because I too am apt to
get stuck.  The last thing I’m going to
do is be a regular at Zumba classes but what I am going to be continually
dedicated to are new experiences and new learnings that challenge MY status
quo.  I know what I believe so new
experiences don’t threaten me.  I know
God is waiting for me with secure arms when I emerge from newness confused and
disoriented.  God’s in the new experience
and He urges me forward to explore aspects of His world and His presence that I
haven’t experienced before.  That’s a
good thing!  Rohr’s right…I don’t need
more answers but more transformation. 
That will only happen as God does NEW THINGS in me!  How about you?

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