Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's fascinating to me how the path to understanding what Jesus wants to see in us is trod simultaneously and yet independently. Every once in a while, I'll talk to a friend I haven't talked to in quite a while, and when we start to talk about where we're at with Jesus, it amazes me that we have figured out some of the same things. I'm sure part of it is the commonality that we had that made us friends in the first place, but there is something more, too. It's how God reveals Himself to each generation, and I've believed for a long time that He meets people where they are at, where their culture is, and so you have different social reactions to the Gospel that comes in generational waves. I think that a lot of it is correct or right, but it is different. There was a generation that related to God in a suit and tie and with hymns. Nothing wrong with that. Now there is a generation that relates to God in a different way. One day, I'm sure that all of us thirty-somethings will complain that they just don't play the great contemporary worship songs anymore. No more "God of Wonders". No more "The Heart of Worship". We'll have worship services in average churches that are part dub, part ethereal, with a DJ and congos and maybe string sections and other combinations that I don't have time to imagine. I think that's exciting.
Ever since I've been in the ministry, I've always had a vision of what a church service might be like. Not just a new trend, but something that might be relevant for our little slice of church history. Not a new order that would be implemented forever, but just for a while. You can see this in postmodern/emergent churches. A little more loose order of stuff that's happening, along with video, discussion, etc. Maybe more laid-back, but definetely more flexable. Not really new, but harkening back to days when people spent all day with each other, and didn't have 5 soccer games to take their kids to, or 17 meetings at church, or any number of things that limit us from really getting close to each other. I've always wanted to be a part of that loose-knit afghan, as opposed to what I believe God has allowed me to be a part of so far, which is more structured and obvious. I like to hang out, I like to discuss. That's how teaching really happens. But, it doesn't happen. We always have to leave. We always have to move on to the next thing, when we really didn't have a grasp on the thing that we are leaving. Along with that, I don't want to push in a direction. Just like a good conversation, I want life to go where it naturally goes. God does a great thing when He works life so that we just fall into something, as opposed to strive for it. It doesn't mean that we don't work hard, we just go where the Ultimate Temp Agency places us, instead of hunting down a job.
My biggest mistake is forgetting all this stuff. I can't tell you how many times I've had epiphanies like this, and I end up forgetting it in a couple of months, and get bogged down in why my ministry isn't fulfilling and having anxiety about calling people and allowing a malaise to sweep over my emotion. I don't know where God wants me physically, but I know I've got to remember to let him place me there and let Him do the heavy lifting.
I always think I have to make sense of why something happened or why it is happening or why it will happen. It gets tiring, but it's engraved in my brain. It's what is good about me, and it's what allows me to be good at the things I can do well. But, it's not a one-size-fits-all train of thought. It works for some stuff, but destroys other things. Like nuclear energy. Or love. So, somewhere down the line, when more of this life is figured out, I will have made some sense about what is happening now. And I don't mean just right now, but I mean this as a rule of thumb for life in general. But I can't make it my goal.

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