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27 August 2006 @ 09:17 pm
Planting seeds in good soil  
Yesterday I finished yet another theological book. This one I read in just two days, suggesting that (at least in regards to interest and reading ability) I am ready to go back to school. The book I finished was “The Last Word and the Word After That,” the last in Brian McLaren’s “A New Kind of Christian” trilogy. It was perhaps the most controversial, but also presented a lot of good new questions and ideas.

This book was about the forth I’ve finished in the last week, albeit the only I both started and finished in the last week, but the reading certainly leaves me wondering if perhaps this reading is doing any good. I definitely seeing my beliefs being changed, but how much is my life and faith practically changing for the better? Perhaps all this reading and thinking is really a distraction, or worse?

As I was finished “The Last Word…,” I was also watching “The Scout,” a 1994 film starring Albert Brooks and Brendan Fraser. Here’s the quick IMDB synopsis: “Al Percolo is a major league baseball scout sent to scout in Mexico as a punishment. However, he eventually stumbles across Steve Nebraska, a young American who can pitch AND hit better than anyone else can do either. He signs Steve and returns home in glory. It soon becomes obvious, though, that Steve is immature and possibly unstable, and Al turns to psychiatrist Doctor H. Aaron, whom he picks for her name, for help.”

By the end of “The Scout,” young Steve Nebraska is expected to pitch his first major league baseball game, but he freaks out. He is afraid of making a fool of himself or that people may make fun of him, despite his promising abilities. The player and his scout/surrogate father get in a standoff, which finally ends when the scout gives the kid freedom to do whatever he wishes: to play ball or avoid the limelight. In doing so, the kid’s fear subsides and he then realizes the choices and consequences beforehand. If he takes a step of faith and pitches the game, the worst that can happen is he loses. “Well, half those guys lose everyday.” With freedom comes clarity and understanding.

In the end, Steve Nebraska chooses to pitch the game and wins. Ironically, by remaining on the fence, his worst fear would come true: he’d make a fool of himself.

I am not really sure where my current pursuit of truth will take me in the end, but I do believe it is laying the foundations for me to have freedom and make choices. Through deconstruction and reconstruction, my understanding of God and His purposes for me is beginning to change. Practical changes? Maybe not yet, but hopefully forming good soil for new fruit.