The Mouth of the mighty Mississippi river. Where one can walk across the river without getting wet. It’s a hard truth to believe if you live where the river is a mile wide. To find the truth it’s a long ways upstream. So it is with many truths in life. From picking the right stocks for the future to finding out what is rumor or truth about your co-workers, there is the easy way to live (just be gullible) and there is the hard way (time, energy, and often a lot of work).
My wife and I checked out a new church this Sunday. We had the distinct impression that these people put in a huge amount of preparation time to communicate how Mary’s child Jesus would be God’s answer ultimately for world peace, and in the meantime peace individually even when our world has been turned upside down in all the calamities of life. That my friend is “Upstream Truth”. If I told you about this kind of Peace in the middle of a school shooting, cancer, job loss, or rush hour traffic; we would be starting out our conversation quite a ways downstream. I must admit that I was brought all the way to the source in this service when most churches are closer to standing downstream with the rest of us with two fingers raised like a 60’s hippie saying “Peace man”.
I get very frustrated with “downstream” conversations. As a guest speaker I remember telling a true account of winter camping. I snowshoe-d in with 11 others at -38 degrees in the Boundary waters in February. In Minnesota they believe the account (or maybe just nod in agreement) but in Iowa not so much. I don’t blame them, it does sound far fetched. Probably as far fetched as some of your stories in your crazy moments. “Weather” conversations for us are more upstream than “How about those Packers?” being new to Wisconsin.
We live in a day when students Google, Copy,and Paste term papers and think it’s good enough work. Jobs are supposed to be created for us with all kinds of benefits, it’s a bad thing to tell the truth (especially statistics) if it offends someone, sound bytes played often enough are believed, defending oneself with a gun is a bad thing, and buying my grand daughter a PETA shirt (People Eating Tasty Animals) could get her expelled from school. It’s almost as bad as saying “Merry Christmas”. It’s hard to really know people, or is it?
Today we visited our neighbors door to door because we had not met any yet. We gave them a tin of fresh baked cookies (by my wife) and a Christmas card to introduce ourselves. I think one couple had never had visitors who were not selling something or asking for money. We went with very low expectations and found our neighbors are just like us, in need of more friends. Who would have thought that a knock on the door of our neighbor and a few cookies would bring us immediately into some intimate truthful conversations. My kind of people for the most part, and willing to do about anything for more conversation in the future. “Upstream” conversation with a little work (cookies), and a little courage (Ring doorbell), and now there is no more wondering what our neighbors are like. We went to the source.
Psst…I may have found some crappie hotspots as a bonus! Donn (with two N’s) knows where there is a map.