Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our Rut

It's good to be together. That's what all the Bible's talk about "love" and "forgiveness" is about. Sin and misunderstandings drive us apart. In C. S. Lewis' fantasy The Great Divorce sinful, selfish quarrels have people moving farther and father apart until neighbors are just specks on the horizon. Our Lord's teachings about love and forgiveness, and his sacrificial example of dying for sinful neighbors, is intended to keep us from abandoning each other.

That's all well and good. But, when people are together for awhile, we begin labeling and putting one another in boxes. We get stuck in a rut, doing the same things, year after year. If we're a cook, we cook. If we usher, we're an usher. Conflicts arise if and when we step outside of the pattern others have set for us. We begin to consider whether the group we're in will allow us to follow God's call to us as individuals. We don't want to be trapped.

There's another consequence too. Newcomers have a hard time feeling welcome. There's no room, sometimes, for another person. The circle is full.

So, from time to time, it's good to take a careful and prayerful look at our own place and at group activities, projects and events. Is God calling you to something new? Can your group open itself to the talents and ideas of new "members"? Can we walk with each other through the inevitable conflicts that arise when change occurs? See Matthew 18:15-20 for a clue on how to do that.

It may be more comfortable in the rut, but what about God's call?

No comments:

Post a Comment