I came across this article on my Facebook feed this morning. The woman who posted it had seen it on a friend’s blog and didn’t want to offend the friend by commenting that our church actually is the answer to all these complaints. The CEO of our church is the biggest pacifist there is.
And it’s not just the men who corner the market on being real examples of how life should be lived. There’s a whole network of women who resemble the way we should be, but in a very approachable and human way. And it’s not an exclusive club. We have members who are like fun, distant cousins.
The problem has become that we think life should be easy and problem free. We fear that if we have issues or problems or strife in life…well, we’ve failed. That’s the picture that is painted by modern society. You’ve heard the ad campaigns, “You CAN have it all”, “You deserve it”, “Ah, what the heck, go ahead…YOLO!”
Well, guess what, you can’t have it all. Something has got to give. You may have the perfect job, but family life may take a hit. Or you may have a beautiful house with a beautiful wife, but you go to a job that you loathe daily. And how come we don’t feel “you deserve it” when something goes awry? Well, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about balance. We’re not supposed to be all self absorbed or self-loathing. It’s about faith…active faith. Prayer, involvement, giving and inviting.
And remember when you were little and woke up in the middle of the night crying because you had pains in your legs. They ached and if you were lucky, your mom rubbed them ’til her hands hurt (never complaining, though). Those, my friend, were growing pains. And just because there is pain does not mean there’s not growth.
Around Christmastime my sister-in-law told me she’d heard it said that life is about focusing on JOY – Jesus, Others, then You. If we keep that in mind, all the rest should fall in place. That’s not to say we’re not going to have falls and scrapes and diagnoses we do not want, but we will be better equipped to deal with these struggles.
Believe it or not, God sent his only offspring down here, to what is clearly second class seating compared with Heaven, to live and die here. And, he didn’t do it small. No, sir. He sent his precious only child down to die a horrific and painful death. What for? A better mortgage rate? An upgrade to business class? A Michael Kors purse? Nope. For us and our miserable failings. For our sorry (for ourselves) selves who can’t get out of our own way. And God is THE most patient parent EVER. Imagine if we had to deal with the problems the general public caused…wait, never mind.
Anyhoo, I used to think that we should all just get along and if we each find our own way to goodness… that works, but now I’m coming around to the fact that the original is long-standing for a reason. If it hasn’t been sunk in decades or centuries then it bears a second look.
I, too, have been worried about what people would think about me and I have worried about hurting other people’s feelings, but there are bigger things to worry about. It’s a Maslow’s hierarchy thing here. We need to protect souls, not feelings.
Lately I’ve been praying that God make sure to text me and let me know that I’m either a) on the right track or b) way off and need to pull up the Google app to find my way back. My word of the year is purposeful. I’m trying to do things with purpose and not just float or drift.
So, I dare you (read invite!) to come to my church and sit with me and see what happens. You can always do your own thing again next week, but maybe, just maybe you might find something that intrigues you and brings you back.
Photo courtesy of http://textinggod.tumblr.com/