The Pastor's Ponderings is a weekly note from one of the pastors that is sent to the congregation. If you would like to be included in the list of subscribers to the Ponderings, you can subscribe here. Current subscribers wishing to unsubscribe can do that here as well. The latest Pondering is below.
Yes - And
There is a little shift in language that can help us when it is difficult to remain positive because of uncertainty. We have been well trained to look for possible problems; therefore, it can be almost automatic to respond to challenging information with "Yes - But," and shove aside what else is at hand.
"Yes - And" invites us to listen and take in the whole of what is going on. Inserting the word and often encourages further conversation, while including the word but often has the effect of stifling it. The simple word and opens the potential for mutual learning, while but narrows the common field.
If we picture a conversation between two people who are walking together, "Yes - And" would have the pair continuing to walk. Every time an and is mentioned, they keep going forward. Even as they veer from side to side as each share their views, they continue to move ahead. On the other hand, if while walking together someone comments "Yes - But," the pair would likely slow down, if not stop in their tracks. The simple word but can cause us to get stuck.
We have choices about how we respond to uncertainty. This "Yes - And" approach can move us to spend more energy listening to understand, to perceive a larger picture and less trying to prove points. Thinking about how we talk with each other will help us stay in relation with each other and not move away from each other. It will invite us to listen to each other and find ways ahead together.
I invite us to see where God is continuing to move in the present at Glen Mar. God is always in the rest of the story. In global terms, the crucifixion was a powerful but while the resurrection is a powerful and. This is a time for cultivating more "Yes - And" conversations. I am crazy enough to believe that this simple shift in language can help bring about alterations in the way we are with each other and the way we see reality. It can also be a lot of fun!