I’ve always been a little confused by politicians who refuse to say they changed their mind. For example, Bill Clinton recently praised the defeat of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) in the Supreme Court of the United States of America. This is all well and good as a politician to do, especially as a Democrat. Except, that he was the very president who signed this bill into existence. Many of his critics came out the wood work to say he was a hypocrite and a wishy-washy politician. Instead of simply saying, “I thought this way then, and now I have changed my mind.” he got all defensive and said he signed it because it was the majority of public opinion and that it was a pragmatic decision. You can read all sorts of opinions on this matter – do a simple Google search of “Bill Clinton DOMA” and you’ll get hundreds of articles that range in opinion on the matter. I just want to tell him it’s ok to say, you changed your mind, that you grew, you progressed, whatever political word you want to say.
This is not a blog about the merits of striking down DOMA or Bill Clinton or American Politics, instead it’s a blog about changing my mind. I do it, you do it, we all do it. We think one way, one day, and then a week later we might think another way. From the mundane – I used to hate school work, but through becoming more passionate about the topics I have changed my mind and now love class and doing my readings (for the most part). To the far more complex – like a theological issue such as women in ministry.
We live and learn and change our minds.
This is beautiful, this is to be celebrated not feared, I blame Ancient Greek philosophy for this fear of changing our minds. There is a theory out there that stems back to my main homeboy philosopher Plato. He had this theory that perfection requires a stasis, an unchanging-ness. Christians have adopted this theory in a lot of ways. God is the rock, unchanging one, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. While there might be some merit to that, there also needs to be some wiggle room. Perfection is not stasis.
To become the best versions of ourselves – to achieve steps toward perfection, we will all take different paths, pursue different passions and fight for different causes. We will think differently, and be fundamentally different people. And that’s beautiful. And as part of that process we need to grow, progress, fall back, take steps forward, regress and change our minds. We need to be fluid, we need to doubt, we need to ask hard questions, and we should expect that from time to time it will require a monumental shift in our theology, worldview, tastes, and life decisions.
Like a hot summer day with no wind, an unquestioning spirit beats us down and exhausts us. But a windy day reminds us something is happening – at times it is far more powerful than we can comprehend, and at other times it is a gentle reminder that life doesn’t stand still.