Once again, I was left gobsmacked; I love my former editor and I am indebted for life for letting her teach me to aim for things larger-than-life. Mark A. Bunchanan’s reply to my email was perhaps the highlight of my week. I love his blogs and he is an incredible pastor. His post, written on his blog page by his wife, Thin Spaces, is one I go back to again and again. Meanwhile, here’s some calming wisdom for the maddening busyness of your everyday life.
Q1. A writer, professor, public speaker, pastor, fisherman, a scuba diver… what’s a regular day in your life like?
I have very few regular days. On any given day I may be traveling, speaking, teaching, writing, researching, meeting with pastors or students or neighbors, etc. But I always take time for prayer as well as reading and reflecting on scripture each morning, and I always make sure I share something from my heart with my wife every day. Busyness is the condition of modern life. Few of us can avoid it. But what we can avoid is inattentiveness. I make sure I set aside time daily just to open my eyes and ears, and heart.
Q2. What’s your Biblical promise for 2017 and how do you live by it every day?
I don’t have a specific promise or passage, but I do have an intention to seek God’s presence. Simply, I ask God to show me how he’s at work in and around me. And when he shows me where he is, I ask for his wisdom to discern how best to respond to that, and Holy Spirit courage to act.
Q3. What mountain are you currently struggling with to conquer?
To finish a couple novels—one I’ve been working on for 7 years, another one for about a year and a half.
Q4. An impulsive decision that you made in the past that you wish you could go back in time and correct?
This is a difficult question—I’ve made some rash and harebrained decisions, but God has worked all things together for good. I have done things I’ve regretted initially, but God has redeemed them in such a way that in the end, I’ve actually given thanks for all things and in all things. So I can’t think of anything I’d go back in time to change. But I do try to let the past inform the future. I’ve learned some hard-won wisdom from my mistakes, and so think I’m less prone to make the same mistakes.
Q5. As a believer, what’s one topic that you often find yourself getting into a dialogue over when interacting with a person from different ideology?
Christianity’s exclusivity—the claim that Jesus alone brings us into a relationship with God. Most people are offended, increasingly so, by this idea. Many people reject Christianity simply because they can’t imagine God being so narrow. I find, though, that the topic presents an opportunity to explain how Christianity is actually the most inclusive of all faiths. On what basis does God accept people? Most non-Christians answer that God accepts people on the basis of their own worthiness, their own goodness. But how good do we have to be to make the cut? How good is good enough? Most non-Christians have no clear answer to that. “What if,” I say, “No one is good enough? And what if God, knowing that, came himself in the form of Jesus to make the cut for us? What if the cross is where God actually gives himself to make all of us good enough? And all anyone has to do to get in on that is accept that God has done this for them? Does that sound exclusive? I can’t think of anything more inclusive—that God has made a way for anyone, not just ‘good’ people, or rich people, or smart people, but anyone to come to him.”
Born and raised in India, Anisha Dhiman moved to Toronto to study Publishing and then Lifestyle Media at Centennial College. Writer, social media strategist and content creator, Anisha is the founder of Five Question Series, where she profiles people… you guessed it, by asking five questions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trolling people with puppy GIFs and memes. Her only phobia? Losing her sight, but staring at the screen all day long doesn’t help much.