I feel like this would be a good post for Jon Acuff over at Stuff Christians Like. Maybe some day he'll pick it up and put a comedic spin on it, but since I'm not very funny I'll take the serious side.
Why is it that the word "processing" is thrown around so much by Christians? Whenever something big happens - good or bad - people start talking about "processing it" or "processing through it."
I understand the general meaning of the phrase. I just don't understand why "processing" is the first thing that Christians feel they need to start doing after a big event in their lives.
Just a couple days ago two students from the youth group I work with at NMC were in a really bad accident. Fortunately neither of them suffered severe injuries. They basically walked away from the wreck. They started "processing" the night it happened.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to see a bigger lesson to be learned through experiences like an accident, loss of a loved one, mission trip, injury or an encounter with God. Of course there are lessons to be learned and of course we should be on the lookout for them.
I guess I just don't think we're capable of figuring it all out - especially in the matter of days, or even hours.
Having talked with one of the students who was in the accident, it seems like the only clear lesson he's learned is to be thankful for every moment and for the people he loves. It's a great lesson ... and maybe it's the only lesson.
Would that be enough? If the reminder to be thankful is all he ever gets out of this experience, shouldn't that be enough? I mean, it's a great lesson to learn - a life changing lesson, right?
In time, maybe other lessons will come out of this experience, but I don't think it's our job to try to pull lessons out of the experience that may or may not have been intended. If God has a lesson He's trying to teach in all of this, He is able to make it clear to us even if we don't spend a lot of time "processing."
I'm not writing this because I'm against "processing." I just question whether it's the best way to react to certain things. Maybe when we hear a message on a Sunday morning, the best thing we can do is "process" it and see how it applies to our lives. But when we get into an accident, we should just hug the people around us, thank God and let Him teach us in His own time.