Another Day Along the Way
Friday, February 6, 2015 (originally published on Sunday, February 25, 2007)
I’m learning much these days. Reading books, writing curriculum, interviewing people – it all brings information to me. Working with college students improves my own education; it is like taking classes into the world of reality – they are wise and fun and rich with enthusiasm.
I’m also learning much by visiting various churches. No longer the pastor of a local congregation, I see a wide array of styles; I hear an assortment of songs; I learn from a diversity of sermons. Modern or ancient, joyful or calm, friendly or snobbish. Variety in some ways. Predictable in others.
Today I spoke in a church where caring people worshiped God, prayed, and listened to my words. And, I admit, I loved the people at that place.
Now, typing words on a computer in a hotel room, I offer a wish. A “what if.” A dream. A prayer. I wish the hate among Christ’s body would turn into love. I wish the disgust – though often initially motivated by sincere desires to improve our faith’s effectiveness – could be transformed into acceptance.
It would be nice if today’s followers of Christ lived in harmony. Rather than the complaining or performing, the pretending or escaping, the search for good-old-days or addiction to brand-new-ways, what if today’s believers lived like a family? What if our churches were like dens, or to fit the image with a deeper true meaning, what if we viewed them as living rooms? Rooms where life lives, places where people listen and learn, events where harmony relates to more than music. I think it would be nice. In many places like the one I experienced today, it is very nice.
Think about your own life as I sit here typing and thinking of mine. What are our views, our opinions, our complaints? Are we too good to join into a room with others who are also trying to find the way of living their beliefs?
Rather than debating style or doctrine or tradition or trends, I present a request. I pray we enter the spiritual family of diverse experiences and enjoy the unity of a yearning to live a Christ-like life. Together.
Along the way,
Powerful Statement: Everyone knows that by itself, a stiff neck is not fatal. But attempt to drive a car, play with your children, or work in your garden, and you’ll know how this disability seriously hinders your movements. Allow that to happen too often in your church or ministry, and it won’t be able to move either – except backward.
(Craig & Carolyn Williford: How to Treat a Staff Infection)