FED UP OR FIRED UP?
I don’t know why so many minds just naturally go somewhere else when they read the Vet Church sign- “Fed Up or F’d Up – Come Worship With US.” Actually I do know. It is part of the estrangement of a culture in which very few people have the capacity to listen to or interact with someone that doesn’t agree with them. Then, -low and behold- we jump straight to the farthest outlier, the worst scenario, and Fed Up or F’d Up becomes something way deeper than Fired Up.
I have had this problem. Sometimes I just don’t want to listen to the opposing viewpoint or the person who is telling me something I think that I don’t want to hear. What happened along the way? I know I was raised “better than that.” I was fortunate to go to a great school (my mom actually ran the learning disabilities program there so I had to go.)
And that is another thing. My mom taught me that everyone learns and communicates just a bit differently. So what happened? Was it the Post Traumatic Stress? Was it the Moral Injury? Was it part of the great Spiritual Warfare between good and evil? Is it just my own shortcomings? Why do I (and others) naturally not sit down and listen?
Listening is hard. I took a class at Belhaven University that focused in on the idea of active listening. Why didn't it take?
As a product of the TV shows "Magnum PI" and "Simon and Simon" and "The A-Team" I am conditioned to be curious. These shows taught me to try and figure things out. Yet I don't always give the process a chance. Sometimes I jump right in and think I know. Sometime I have the urge to formulate my own thoughts when someone else hasn't even finished speaking… as if I am some mindreader! That is not active listening and not a good thing. It is rather arrogant. Sometimes I am just excited and I play my mindreader make-believe.
So, excited or arrogant I am trying to stay humble. I am attempting to shut up and listen. I am striving to hear what others are saying and think about it before I speak. Listening will bring us closer together. Remember this isn’t the Kingdom. The Kingdom is in the next life. Let's go to that Kingdom together with others, and the only way we will be with others is if we listen.
So you like Vet Church and want to keep this going? Here are three ways you can jump on board:
1. Join VET CHURCH and invite others…(you have to power to add members.) www.retiredarmychaplain.com/vet-church
2. Convince local church leadership to having me speak/play at your church.
3. Spruce up the gas and equipment fund. (build the Kingdom not the castle)