Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Paradox of Followers

Over the past few days I have been ruminating about the fickle nature of us human beings when it comes to matters of following God. Fueling the thoughts have been my readings in Hebrews and the minor prophets. Adding fuel to the thought fire is also a chain of recent events. At a local church the pastor just resigned. For the past two years I have been in this area the pastor had been struggle to move the congregation, the largest non-catholic in our area, to a new place. As you might guess the resistance was large, and many left the church. In my own church I struggle with how to get people to engage in the work of God through the church, or how to move past convenience Christianity into vital life-giving Christianity.

So what are the results of my musings? We are strange creatures. There is within all of us a longing for something more, something greater than ourselves. At the same time there is an ever-increasing desire to have everything on our own terms. We want a life with God, only on my schedule, my comfort level, and my determined level of commitment. There are times when our lives say, I will whole-heartedly serve God, as long as it fits my schedule.

In the life of the church, God's vehicle for the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the transformation of lives and all the world, this gets played out in many ways. There was a day and time when people scheduled life around the work of God at the church. Now that work must be fit in around all the rest of life.

The paradox is we want all of God we can get, and we recognize our need for something larger than ourselves. Only we want to be in control of what is larger than ourselves, we want to control God and God's involvement in our lives. We are such funny people.

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