First, let me bring your notice to the sidebar over there on the right. You’ll notice a couple of pages listed. They actually get updated periodically (and provide opportunities for stimulating interaction too). The two that get updated most are the Prayer page and the Good Reads page. Lots of interesting stuff over there, so check ’em from time to time, maybe once a week or so.
And what have I been doing?
Working a lot. Spending a lot of time at work coordinating and managing our training program (Sunday, Tuesday, 1430! Don’t miss it!). I’m trying to get my own training done as well; attempting to qualify as an Expeditionary Warfare Specialist (you can google that and find out more if you’re really interested). I’m doing a lot of management of the people we have over here, but more from a workforce sort of perspective, not much in the leadership department.
I haven’t really posted much because of the broad range of pondering that’s been popping around in the ion distribution center between my ears.
Mostly in the form of questions, though I have answering thoughts for most of them, of course:
Why are churches so compartmentalized so often? We have the old folks, the young folks, the families, the families with 4 or more kids, the homeschoolers, the singles, the oddballs, the fanatics and the been-here-all-along types. These may not all be present at one church, but I think I’ve seen combinations of several varieties in every church I’ve seen. Diversity isn’t a real problem, but lack of Unity in the middle of Diversity is a real problem. We don’t interface (read: Fellowship) as a united whole too much.
This is primarily OUTSIDE church, when the doors are closed and the lights are out. We don’t relate to each other but in little packets or cliques throughout our daily routines. Where this gets me is that I perceive a fear that when two or more are gathered in His name (aside from posted hours), there is fear. I think that we don’t want to be recognized as Christians in groups out in the mortal world. I think I can draw my evidence from my service in the military. Should the Christians stick together in the workplace, there is a high potential for adverse reactions (or at least we may be afraid of such). It is much safer to be quietly and singularly Christian, behind the desk, rarely even nodding recognition to the other Christians in the workplace. Not good. We should be interacting, uplifting, encouraging, exhorting, admonishing, being accountable to each other in every aspect of our lives.
Christian guys don’t converse regularly with other Christian guys about marriage, relationships, parenting, whatever. It’s like our Private Matters are just that, Private. Where is the intimacy that Children Of God should have at all times? Watching real children, one can see that they don’t hide so much as we do. They’re pretty transparent in their communication (like that one persistent event in all families where the kid in the grocery store starts making beeping sounds and says “LOOKOUT MA, SHE’S BACKING UP!”). Why aren’t we like that (in a productive way).
I feel a real desire to reconnect with my family. Distance makes it painfully obvious what our real relationships should look like. We don’t realize what we’re missing, what we’re not doing until the opportunities are gone.
So why is it that we do even less with our fellow Christians? And our greater families? Wow. How lonely is it when you’re isolated, not a part of everything your family does, ESPECIALLY when you’re related by blood, by generations as well as Christ. There’s so much glue that isn’t being used.
How much stronger could we all be in our Christian lives if we truly fellowshipped? I have put a few processes into action for me here, though they are still challenging. I’ve made it a rule to spend a few minutes (or longer, if possible) with a specific Christian here at work, daily, with no regard to whether others perceive the encounters as Christians gathering or not. And the occasions are purposefully NOT lunch or Bible-Study standardized times. That builds intimacy that isn’t as easily prone to being false like routines become.
I try to keep up with Christians (and family) on the internet. I don’t reach out well to new people, but I’m a little more capable in tracking those I do know.
This blog has also been a wonderful means of at least offering intimacy outward. Though I’m not necessarily forthcoming about my little private stuff (wise, considering the internet), I’m pretty transparent about the big stuff running through my head just because of the subject matter and where my thoughts run.
So what I’d like to do with all this, having no plan but plenty of desire, is to explore breaking these boundaries in our family and church lives. That sort of service, though I don’t know what “title” it would bear, really seems an important and viable sort of goal. Involve the family in more. Involve the family with more family. Involve the family with more people in church. Involve more church people with each other. Drive toward interdependence OUTSIDE church hours and in the daily routine.
Maybe that’s a book-writing sort of possibility.
Another thought I’ve had, just as a closing provocation, I guess, is this:
Assent to profession, creed, philosophy, confession, statement or any other offering of good thought is awesome. Being inspired by John Macarthur, Piper, Challies or Chan or C.S. Lewis or Spurgeon or Jim Berg or Augustine or Calvin is just great. They’re mostly good stuff, mostly great stuff, actually. They’ve helped make our desire for God even more desirable.
Greater than inspiration from these greats and all the others, however, is this: discovering one of them and realizing that, through personal pursuit of God, one has already come to the conclusions and has the delight of finding that somebody else thought of it too. The reward of pursuing a good relationship with God is not that we have all these wonderful resources to read and apply in our lives. The reward is that He can and will teach us, inspire us and has done so in all these great thinkers, theologians and writers as well. We don’t have to depend on them for our inspiration. The Word requires our devotion to Him and His Revelation and through it He can inspire and move us to the greatness of those historical and current wise men on His own.
In other words, don’t read C.S. Lewis and go WOW. Go WOW and then read C.S. Lewis and go WOW again over the exact same remarkable truth.