I'm so much like my Poppy was...
I absentmindedly take another sip of my tall black filter coffee as I drive down toward my destination. I've just dropped Jonathan off at daycare. It's about 7 am, and I'm heading towards the church just to spend a little time in prayer. As I pull up at a set of traffic lights and take another sip of coffee, I notice the lady in the white Hyundai next to me takes a sip from her coffee. In the back seat, I see a car seat, much the same as mine, in the same position as mine: the back seat, left-hand side. I glance into my review mirror and notice the lady in the Volkswagen behind me take a sip of her coffee... and that she too has a car seat that looks the same as mine, in the same position as mine.
The light goes green, and we all pull off, and I'm stuck by how "same same" everyone seems to be. We all seem to be in the same "Friday morning, sipping coffee" boat (and it's a goooood boat). We've dropped the kids off and we're on our way for the day. Another day, another dollar, right? In fact, I was so deep in thought, I had been driving on auto-pilot for the last 15 mins. I pull up outside my office, turn the car off, and it slowly dawns on me "I'm not outside the church... I've driven to work..."
How often are we like that in life be it spiritually or secularly speaking? We have become so busy in life, that so often we run through life on auto pilot. Hours flow into days, which flow into weeks; and before you know it, we are half way through the year already.
It's like a Hawaiian shirt at a Jane Austin wedding...
Too casual! Way too casual. I've spoken with several pastors over the last few months, and there is a spirit of casualness that seems to have descended on churches around the world in these last days. Christians enjoy coming to church, enjoy having a relationship with God, enjoy the blessings that this relationship brings. But for every person that is on fire, I see others who are happy to spiritually "float on by" so to speak. It is a sign of the times we live in. In Matthew 24:12 & 13, Jesus says the following words:
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
Jesus is discussing the last days before he comes back again. At a time so close to His second coming we ought to be enduring, rather than waxing cold. But by living so casually, this is exactly what so many of us are guilty of doing from time to time. We're content to allow the things of the world to distract us from living for God with all of our heart, our mind, our soul and our strength.
And it's going to take people who are willing to wake up, get off autopilot and break the mould of "same-same" that is so prevalent in our society. With Jesus, it's not just "another day, another dollar. The Bible says his "mercies are new every morning"
But how do we do that? I was at a Ministers & Leaders retreat in Sydney just a few weeks ago, and Pastor Rodney Shaw, of New Life in Austin TX. asked the question: "Who controls the Pentecostal church service?" and the answer was - the congregation does! You and I are responsible for setting the atmosphere by the way we approach God; the way we worship & we praise. If we come to church with a "same same" attitude, we'll get the "same same" result. But if you come in with an attitude of "I'm gonna worship & praise like never before"; well just watch and see what God does.
Finally - to break this mould, I've found I need to be disciplined to maintain my daily Bible reading and prayer times. When they slip by the wayside, it becomes so much easier to just float through life.
I would love to hear from you. What things have you found you need to be moved by?
Stay tuned for part 2. Don't miss it by subscribing here.
I'm a Husband and a Daddy, a minister, a teacher and preacher, writer, youth leader, blogger, and servant of a great God.