typical promised experience

My friend Chris published a list of suggested topics that bloggers could use as triggers for writing. It was a helpful list. You have already benefited from it.

One of his ideas was,

Should Something Ever Go Wrong – Imagine giving your customers or readers or friends a post where you explain ahead of time how you wish they’d handle a break from your typical promised experience.

Because I’m not a business, I almost skipped over that. Until I realized that I talk with people about this all the time.

  • “People tell me that I need to read the Bible, but I gotta tell you. It just doesn’t make sense sometimes.”
  • “I tried to pray. I really did. But it feels like I’m talking to myself.”
  • “I used to talk to God all the time. But I never got any answers. I’m don’t know what to do.”
  • “I try really hard to obey and everything just falls apart. It seems like the more I try to follow Jesus, the worse everything gets.”
  • “I worked up my courage to try going to church. I walked in and I know that people were talking about me. But no one talked to me.”
  • “I’ve been following Jesus for a long time. I don’t feel like I’m making any progress.”

I understand the questions. The experience of being a follower of Jesus, or even of trying to follow, is as far from the Disney experience as you can get. My own experience is seldom what is promised by preachers or books or formulas.

I’m not even sure what the “typical promised experience” is.  I mean, we talk all the time about peace and blessing and love. Jesus talked about persecution and division.

Oh. And being with us.

Maybe we listen to the wrong promises.

6 thoughts on “typical promised experience

  1. Diane Brogan

    Jon. I love the way you think. You are so non- judgmental 🙂 And you are not preachy. I guess that is why I am enjoying 300 words a day.


  2. Rich Dixon

    Or maybe–to over-use my theme of the week–we’re too busy trying instead of training.

    From the National Prayer Breakfast this morning: I don’t pray because God needs to hear my prayers. I pray because I need to hear them. Hmmmm….


    1. Jon Swanson

      a. I agree. We try way too much.
      b. There is part of that statement that is true, I suppose. Maybe it should be revised a bit however. I pray because I need to say them. There is this thing I get concerned about when we talk about me needing to hear them, or praying to myself. And I know that there is a sense of needing to listen so that we might end up being the answer.

      But I think this answer is suddenly turning into a post. So I’ll be back next week with more reflection on this.


  3. Rich Dixon

    Yeah, I thought about it sounding like I’m praying to myself. The key might be the word “need” as you said–because God surely doesn’t “need” to hear what He already knows.


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