I’ve recently finished reading Rob Bell’s The Velvet Elvis. In the first chapter he compares different ways of following Jesus. One way is the spring. A spring is flexible and stretches. Like a spring in a trampoline, our beliefs help orient how we live. They’re not necessarily the main point, but help us to make sense of our world.
In contrast to the spring is the brick. A brick is rigid and inflexible. Some people have their beliefs set in such a way that it becomes a brick wall. Everything is fixed. Each piece is in place. All the answers make sense.
However, Bell writes,
“Somebody showed me a letter from the president of a large seminary who is raising money to help him train leaders who will defend Christianity. The letter went on about the desperate need for defense of the true faith. What disturbed me was the defensive posture of the letter, which reflects one of the things that happens in brickworld: you spend a lot of time talking about how right you are. Which of course leads to how wrong everybody else is. Which then leads to defending the wall. It struck me reading the letter that you rarely defend a trampoline. You invite people to jump on it with you.”
This necessarily impacts how we might share Jesus with others.
“Have you ever seen someone pull a photo out of their wallet and argue about the supremacy of this particular loved one? Of course not. They show you the picture and give you the opportunity to see what they see.”
Which more characterizes you, the trampoline or brick wall? Are you defensive or inviting others to jump with you? Do you have any analogy that might be more appropriate?