Project People

There is a trend in humanity that has invaded the church.  I find it difficult to understand, difficult to accept.  Let me see what you think.

We are a consumer society.  We want our products now, oh yeah, right now!   We want them cheap.  And we want them packaged properly, no danger to our children, no chance of them spilling their contents on us as we rush through the drive-through, no risk.

We want people the same way.  

We don’t want them smelly.  If they have baggage, we want it dealt with and tidied up.  We want them talented, beautiful and with some pretty impressive credentials.

Excellence is what we are striving for, right.

I’m not so sure.

I think we just want the finished product.  We want people serving who we don’t have to serve.  We want ministers who don’t need ministering.  We want teachers who have no need of being taught.  We want someone with a proven track record of discipling and growing others so that we don’t have to show them the way.

And, sometimes, we want that because we don’t know the way.

Can I remind us all that none of our completed projects?  The best of us are a hopeless mess.  We shouldn’t be shocked when leaders fall.  We shouldn’t wonder why when children are abused or money is embezzled.

Humans do that!

Even with credentials and talent and beauty…

Even with hearts that love Jesus, we still fall.

Ah, but a heart that loves Jesus, one that is yielded to Him, pursuing Him, even in failure, despite the risks and lack of glitter…

He can work with that.

Chuckin’ Chunks of Ice

Today, I went out in the snow with my grandson.  We shoveled and made snow angels.  He let me pull him around on a sled.  We threw ice chunks up in the air to watch them splat on the ground.  He laughed and laughed.

Here’s how the game went.  I would take a piece of slushy, crunchy ice that fell off my car.  You know what I’m talking about, dirty, gray, nasty pieces that build up in the wheel wells as you drive.  The temperatures are perfect for making them formed enough to stick together but when the hit the driveway they explode.  Anyway, I’d take a piece and throw it way up into the air.  We would watch it as it came back down and then clap and laugh as it splatted.  Then he would grab a piece and try to do the same thing.  Now you have to understand, he’s twenty months old.  He tried so hard.  He reach back as far as he could, holding tight to his missile.  Then, with all the might he could muster, throw the ice a foot in front of him, or throw it in his own face, or throw it behind him.  A couple of times it never even left his hand.  At first he would look at me, a shadow of disappointment crossing his innocent face.  But I would clap and laugh, tell him how good he did, shout and praise him.  Then we’d do it again.

Two things I saw as we played in the snow.  Two things he loved that we shared.  He loved watching how powerful I am and he loved trying to be like me.  I am not strong or amazing but I loved showing him how things fly, how they explode on impact.  And, I loved watching him try so hard, pour himself into something so completely.

We share that with God.  Men and women of faith find joy in watching the Creator show off His power, His sovereignty, His presence.  We want to see those moments when He does what only He can do.  And then, we try to be like Him.  We love beyond our ability.  We serve when no one gives us praise.  We pray like we’re at war.

And when our attempts fall flat, seem so pitiful by comparison, we hear Him cheering us on.  His joy poured out on us for our efforts to be like Him because dad’s know.

Their kids will grow.