I am confronted by my need to be right. It’s been part of my faith experience for so long. One of the first things that I was taught was that we are right and they are wrong. The world may have lots of questions, but we have in our possession the only right answer. That theology kick started a way of thinking for me. I did not want to engage with people different from me. I did want to hear about the arguments for a new way of thinking, because it might just confuse me.
I know it’s not just me. It’s part of the collective identity of so many religious people. I see it many times. We need to be right. That is how religion works.
It’s like a fortress: sturdy, solid and steadfast. It can’t be bent, move or give in without breaking. If you remove one brick, it weakens. If you remove a few others, the walls might come tumbling down. A fortress needs to be defended, protected, guarded and maintained. The idea is to keep foreign objects out. It is always tense, most of the times hostile and more often than not highly threatened. In a fortress mercy is weakness and power is safety. It is always looking for the best vantage point from where it can stand over and against things that are different. It cannot compromise, relax, flex, appreciate, accommodate, stretch or drop its guard at all. The moment it does that, it seizes to be a good fortress any longer.
That kind of faith just does not work for me anymore. (I hope there is still some space left in the box labelled “Junk”.)
This journey hopes to find better metaphors for faith, because life bends and God moves.
Like a Jumping Castle as a symbol for faith.
When faith moves from religion to relationship it tends to be more like a JC. If you watch children play in it you sometimes get the feeling that the castle is going to brake, but that’s when the jumping is at its best. The walls, corners and pillars are supposed to give in, they are made that way. If they don’t, then you are not jumping wild enough!
Jumping alone is fine for a while, but the best times are when the castle is bursting with kids going crazy.
There is also no competition, no technique, and no prize for the best jumper and no awards for the most back-flips in one jump.
It’s not about the castle, the ticket sales or whether you get the jumping part right or not.
It’s really just about getting your hair messy and your clothes wrinkled, in other words having a bag full of fun.
In the end the JC way of faith is guided only by two rules:
1. You always have to take of your shoes.
2. Don’t hurt the other kids.