Some of the time I just remember things I already knew or I hear things in a different way. For example, I find this to be true of the Bible. I’ll read something I’ve read a hundred times or more and something will just stand out differently. I could write a blog a day on these things. But I won’t. Here’s a few that stand out:
1. You cannot convince or convict people of their sin.
If you try and either just beat them over the head with it or do the passive-aggressive thing, you will either risk alienating them from yourself or drive them to despair over it. This doesn’t mean you don’t tell people of their sin ever – it does mean you are not the Holy Spirit and you tread lightly. There’s a reason prophets in the Old Testament are stoned, sawed in half, and otherwise treated poorly.
2. People will, nine times out of 10, chose the easy way.
We’re like water. Water always goes the path of least resistance. It takes a very strong current of water to forge a new path. This is true of individuals and of groups of people. It’s especially true of organizations which have existed for awhile – ten years or more.
3. Things fall apart.
This isn’t just about atrophy, though that’s like science and stuff. It’s about everything. Every thing will fall apart when left unattended. Relationships. There are people who you can just pick up with where you left off and it doesn’t feel any different. It is. Just believe me. Marriages. Parent-child. We leave things alone because of #2 above and then we wonder why we feel so alone. Every relationship is hard in some way. It’s just not worth it if they didn’t pay off, and since we aren’t guaranteed anything, we put minimal effort. We face more loneliness than ever before even though our world is “closer” than ever before.
4. We chose fast friends, not always true ones.
Because of #1-3, we end up with people who think like us, act like us, amuse us, are amused by us, don’t give us grief about anything, don’t challenge us on anything, and generally just co-exist.
I don’t want to co-exist. I want to grow.
5. Truth is very few people, in my experience, actually, honestly want to grow up.
Adulting is hard as the kids say. But it’s more than working your job and paying your bills and making decisions about money and friends and career and family. Adulting is also about looking honestly at the things in your heart and mind and soul that are tearing you apart. The things you don’t even know are there because you’ve done such a great job of being water. You turn from anything difficult. You refuse to accept your own culpability in anything that goes wrong. You point all the fingers at others, at circumstances, at weather patterns.
And it’s all water down a window. We all end up in big puddles at the bottom, copacetic, safe. And completely useless. What is this life for? What’s the point? Why bother with such a static, nice life? Is this what it’s all about?
I want to be the stream, from a trickle to a roar, forging something new and leaving evidence of change all along the way. I’m not happy with existing for existing sake. There must be more to all this.
So don’t let me take the easy way. Challenge me. Convict me of my selfishness and arrogance. Make me change. Pour out the things that keep me from forging new paths. I want to grow deep and strong and be part of changing the landscape. For the glory of Jesus. For the beauty of his church. For the blessing of all.
Let your kingdom come. 2019 would be a good time.