Saturday, September 01, 2012

Things I Learned in my Month Being “Unplugged” This Year

Every August I’ve repeated the practice of ‘unplugging’ from television and electronic media. This year I indulged in a little bit of the Olympic games coverage, but other than that, no TV, very ,very little personal email and absolutely no Facebook.

I’ve enjoyed my time not doing those things and spending some extra time doing other things. Below are what I’ve gleaned from it.

1600 emails still in my inbox are too many.

My kids still want me to jump on the trampoline with them sometimes.

There is an epidemic of people in the Church that suffer from what one called “Jesus Deficit Disorder”

In Genesis there was a river with a tree by it that marked the beginning of the downfall.

In Revelation there was a river with a tree by it that marked the end of the downfall.

In the book of Genesis there is a couple that, when they ate, they knew they sinned.

In the book of Luke there is a couple that when they ate, they knew the sin issue was taken care of.

Life throws you curve balls but home runs are still hit off curve balls.

Reading the letters of Paul in the order they were written changes everything.

Smart phones really do alienate people when not used at appropriate times. Really.

The real drought in the Church today is not leaders but rather, followers.

In Genesis at the first creation, the Spirit of the Lord hovered over the earth looking for a place to dwell. Later in Genesis at the re-creation, Noah released a dove and it hovered over the earth looking for a place to dwell. In John, when Jesus was baptized and made a new creation, the Spirit of the Lord descended upon Christ in the form of a dove. Bottom line, God is looking for a place to dwell. It’s in us!

Singed hair on a forearm eventually grows back.

Even after a couple of decades, there is still water to draw in the well of a friendship.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Slow, Yield, Merge

Have you ever driven in a city and found yourself going through a construction zone? I can hear the collective 'yes'. There have been times when navigating these roads in such conditions that I've found myself forced to slow down, change lanes and drive on a completely different road for a period of time. On some occasions I've experienced a bit of stress thinking that the road I was on was going to take me somewhere I didn't intend to go. But then something assuring happens. The road I was on, by carefully planned detours by the engineers, takes me back on to the 'right path' that I intended to embark on. After a little slowing, a little yielding and a merge, I'm back on track and I reach my destination.

I have to say that this is the place where I'm at in my walk on the Way right now. For 26 years I've been a disciple of Christ, trying to grow in the Way, a pastor and teacher, trying to show others the Way but for the last six of those years I've been in the market place. What I thought could have been a wrong turn has been one of those roads that the Engineer has re-routed me through. I looked over the barricade (figuratively speaking) and saw the road I used to be on, the road I thought I had to be on, and got a bit stressed that I wasn't on it. I questioned why I had to make the turn in the first place but, by the Grand Design, I followed the detour and continued my journey. This has caused me to slow down, yield and I'm seeing a merging, a connection happening. It's the right path.

You see, the safest route to take in a construction zone is the detour. Every detour has lots of signs. If you ignore the signs, you take the wrong turn. If you don't obey the signs, you make a mess.

Every detour has lots of signs.

Signs are the messages that we absolutely have to understand on the road we're on. We don't put the signs there, the engineer does that. We don't dictate the path they direct us to. The engineer does that as well. Our only requirement is to simply obey the signs.

You see, Christ is the Way. As we walk with him, it is inevitable that we will be presented with changes of direction, detours and roads to go down that we never thought we'd ever have to go down. Whatever 'detour' you are going through or, at some point may go through, listen to the messages that the Engineer is telling you and, most importantly, don't forget to slow, yield and merge. Remember, ultimately the detour isn't there to stop you from getting to where you're supposed to go. The detour is there to get you safely back on the right path.