Grey. The space between black and white. Grey is the journey from one conclusion to another. Grey is honesty. Grey is truthful. Grey is beautiful. There are a lot of people wanting to fight for their conclusion. If you do this, you will be happier. If you do this, you will lose weight. If you do this, you will sleep better. Whatever the problem, there is a black or white solution. Why is choosing a side so important? In a culture of either black or white, I strive to be grey; to ride the fence in the best way.
Growing up, the function of the education system I was in was to fill us with knowledge.
Testing was the mechanism of figuring out if you were proficient in retaining and regurgitating information. Plenty of contradictory studies show test taking to be both the best method to gauge progress in individuals and also, the worst. Growing up, I wanted to be the one that challenged the system. I wanted to be the one that questioned the norms. I quickly learned that certain systems were put in place to facilitate structure. Now, as I reflect back on these test taking years, I see twofold, how important they were and how pointless they seem to be now. Sure, retaining information and writing about it on a test was important, but now I write because I want to. I don’t necessarily remember the exact information, but I have developed the skill. Many of the facts I learned in my youth have dissipated, but I am left with the skills the testing of the knowledge deposited in me. These skills are aiding me in fulfilling my calling, my vocational work, and my dreams. How is an educational system to know where I would end up? Test taking taught me effective time management, natural consequences and how to communicate effectively. Is test taking good or bad? We are asking the wrong question. There is gold found amongst the rubble.
Embrace ambiguity. The way of life is the journey. Living a life with Jesus means living a life filled with mystery. Jesus never tells us that we, as His followers, deserve knowledge. The Proverbs give us insight into wisdom and knowledge.
“Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.” Proverbs 20:15.
In the beginning of Proverbs, King Solomon writes “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7.
To advise someone to live without knowledge or understanding is foolish, but to say one will know everything apart from communion with the Godhead is equally as foolish. Knowledge becomes wisdom in the grey areas of life.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5.
In Matthew 13:11, Mark 4:11 and Luke 8:10 there are references to unveiling the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Mystery plays a monumental role in existence. Accepting a myriad of thoughts without need of a definitive conclusion can spur growth that conclusions never garner.
My encouragement to you is: Pursue necessary chaos in your environment. Chaos furthers creativity. Chaos invites us into the grey spaces.
Choosing to read and meditate on something you don’t understand brings a deeper understanding of self. The deeper we move in to mystery; the more grace works itself out in us. Being able to disagree with others, but continuing to live civilly is one of the most practical forms of embracing grey. Living in tension allows us to seek understanding first and trust that the unity of the Spirit is possible in every place of mystery.
Choosing grey allows us to recognize that we are part of a living, breathing faith.
Something that is still growing. Something that is rooted in the incarnate God talking about His Father’s Kingdom. This is revolution, in its purest and most practical form. This is what we live for. Grey pursues humility and honors the vast possibilities
“I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.” Colossians 2:1-5.