Thursday, January 11, 2007

Scribbles and Scrambles - Flinging Checkers

Wouldn't Flinging Checkers be a great band name?

On Monday I brought up some melancholy thoughts about change, especially the sadness of missing faces within the church and broken relationships. Janet blogged about this on Wednesday and I realize I have a few more things to say.

We are born with the notion that the world revolves around us. When I open my eyes or make a noise there’d better be someone there to meet my needs. Life has to beat reality into us and selfishness out. Some find gentle adults who teach the truth…that we are simply one of six billion…important but no more so than the others. Others have adults who brutalize and lie, bringing confusion into the mix of pain and selfishness. The rest, most of us, fall into some degree of the middling.

We plant our learned lessons deep and impart them through the filters of our dysfunction.

It’s a miracle that any of us connect with one another on any level.

Assuming that you are a believer and follower of Jesus—read on and ponder.

We need to stop and remember that God created unique DNA for all six billion earth inhabitants and the billions who’ve walked before us. We need to look to the God who creates one-of-a-kind snowflakes. Then let’s put that information into our quirk-o-meters and decide that none of us is going to be identical to the others. I can’t read your mind, nor should I expect you to read mind. I’ll love movies, music, books, colors and food that you may detest. One will prefer worship served formal, another prefers worship with dance. God reached my soul with a question, Martin Luther’s with a scripture, one of my favorite Bible study teacher’s with an event, and thousands of others with thousands of different and unique ways.

Of course we won’t all agree on the wall colors in the church or the Biblical length of hems. A church is made up of clueless, lucky-to-have-found-the-truth “accidents” with in-your-face stinking baggage through mature scholars who’ve repacked their baggage into appropriate church attending attaches, and everything in between.

We all have something to teach and much to learn.

What would happen in our churches if the believers in Jesus Christ actually embraced Gal 2:20 – (my paraphrase) I’m dead and I’ve given Christ my body to complete His tasks and goals? Or if we realized that crawling on the altar (Romans 12:1-2) meant not operating out of our needs/wants but considering others needs/wants as equal and God’s wants as paramount. Am I suggesting that we let go of God’s call to holiness? Nope. Am I saying that anything goes; anything can be taught as truth? No. Of course not. But why can’t we hang onto the truth with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and yet love our neighbors as ourselves?

Consider others as more important than yourself and don’t injure the one for whom Christ died (more paraphrases - Phip 2:3, Rom 14:15, 1 Cor 8:11.) When you stop to evaluate how you’ve been let down, mistreated or ignored, run to Him with those issues and then obey Him.

Are you considering bowing out of a relationship because the other person won’t meet your needs or read your mind? Are you a spiritual checker flinger? You know, like when you were a kid and were playing checkers with someone and they asked a question you didn’t like or said something you didn’t want to hear, or cheated, did you rip the checker board off the table, scatter checkers as evidence of your ire, pack it up and take it home?

Stop, please, and pray before you act. Really pray.

My worst enemy haunted me. Constant anger bubbled inside of me. She controlled me until God reminded me that He loved her too. Letting God take that burden of hatred freed me to follow a much better master, Him. But it hurt that He asked me to stop hating her, that He expected me to be kind, to be the bigger person because she had done nothing but steal from me. Now I’m glad He loves her because she needs Him. I understand that He loves me enough He doesn’t want me to bathe in the acid bath of selfishness and self-pity.

Jesus really does want us all to get along or He wouldn’t have called us to unity. And He doesn’t call us to do what is impossible for Him to do through us. Ask Him how you can help repair the damage you’ve done to relationships you’ve had, and then follow His instructions. What an excellent start to a new year.Tomorrow, I promise to put the quirk back on. Really. Ray’s dropping by…