Perhaps that title caught your eye, in light of this weekend’s forecast calling for “snow showers.” We do tend to get a little excited about snow in these parts, as scarce as it is. We definitely don’t get many opportunities to wander in the snow. So I wanted to share a story that I found particularly intriguing, if only because it didn’t turn out like I expected.
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright once told of anincident that seemed insignificant at the time, but had a profoundinfluence on the rest of his life. The winter he was nine years old, he went walking across a snow-covered field with his reserved no-nonsense uncle. As the two of them reached the far end of the field, his uncle stopped him. He pointed out his own tracks in thesnow, straight and true as an arrow’s flight, and then young Frank’s tracks meandering all over the field.
“Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again,” his uncle said. “And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that.”
Years later the world-famous architect liked to tell how this experience had greatly contributed to his philosophy in life. “I determined right then,” he’d say with a twinkle in his eye, “not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had.”
If you’re anything like me, I suspect you’d already jumped ahead and figured out the “moral” of Wright’s story, or at least you thought you had. How we should determine our goal and go for it, not letting anything get in the way. How we should be focused, prioritized, and intentional. Purpose-driven, we might say. But that’s not what he learned, and in many ways, we would all do well to learn a lesson from the lesson Wright himself discovered on that snowy day.
Sometimes in your pursuit of a goal, a dream, a vision–or even “God’s will”–you miss what He is doing in you life along the way. In fact, we often get frustrated by the “detours” we are forced to take because they are keeping us from going where we think we are headed, instead of experiencing God and His blessings in the midst of our “wandering.”
He’s at work, even now, in your life. Have you noticed? I’m praying that you do see His hand at work in your life this week, wherever you wander, and that you see His fingerprints (if not footprints) all over your situation.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
You can tell a lot about a person by the bumper sticker on his or her car. That’s my conclusion after many years as an avid reader of bumper sticker “literature.”
It seems that more and more people are using their bumpers as billboards for their life philosophies. It might be “Pray the Rosary” or “Visualize World Peace.”Or some form of political expression, like the various versions of the “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Bush”statement.Others make their point with very little ambiguity: “From My Cold Dead Hands”(with a picture of a gun). And of course there’s the simple, yet obligatory in these parts, “Roll Tide.”
Then there are those cars that are covered with bumper stickers, usually with the same sort of theme. I find myself visualizing what the person behind the wheel looks like, based on the message on their bumpers. Often, I’ll speed up to pass just to take a look. Usually, I’m right–they’re very predictable. You can tell a lot about people by their bumper stickers.
I really got to thinking about this recently when I got behind a car with the bumper sticker “Get us out of the U.N.!” Now that may or not be a worthy goal, but that’s not the point of this little diatribe.
My first thought was, “Is that it? Is that this guy’s primary life statement? Given the opportunity to tell the world one life message on the back of his car, was this the best he could come up with?”
What about you? Whether it graces your bumper or not, what does your “life bumper sticker” say? What is the one statement you are communicating to those you come in contact with, whether on the interstate, in your neighborhood, or at your workplace? Think about it, and make sure you don’t miss the opportunities to share your “message” to the world God has placed you in.
I’m praying for you, that your life and words will clearly communicate what’s most important to you, and that will be the difference Jesus Christ makes in your life. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
If you’ve been around these parts much lately, you’ve heard a consistent theme, from our InterMission to our current sermon series theme. Our mission–our Co-Mission with Jesus actually–is to “make disciples.” That’s not new information, but it is a helpful reminder to keep us focused on why we are here.
As someone once said, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. So how do we do that? How do we live our lives in such a way so that we intentionally reach out to our community with the gospel and disciple them to Christian maturity? Every church asks those questions, or at least they should. But the answers we come up with are not always the same.
I read recently of a church in Georgia that was having “revival” services and as part of their outreach was giving away a raffle ticket to every person who attended one of their Sunday-to-Wednesday services. Each attendee was entered in a drawing for two $500 gas cards. It got results. The church ended up having to put in a new phone line and hire a receptionist just to answer the calls about the giveaway.
Bless their hearts. But in case you are wondering, we won’t be using that kind of gimmick to draw people to a church service any time soon. I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant when He called us to make disciples.
The key to making disciples is…disciples being disciples, and thus being disciple-makers. The key to reaching people is…people, like you and me, who live among our neighbors, love on them in the name of Jesus, and share a life-changing message they desperately need to hear.
In his book, Leading Beyond the Walls, pastor Adam Hamilton says that every church will flounder if it does not wrestle with and answer these three questions:
Why do people need Jesus Christ?
Why do people need the church?
Why do people need thischurch?
The answers to those questions are not that complex, really. People need Jesus Christ because only in Him can be found the answers to the most serious problems that we all face–ultimately salvation from sin’s curse, and the gift of eternal life with the Father. People need the church because God created us to live in community and fellowship with other Christ-followers and to be the “body of Christ” to one another. We are born with a need to belong.
Why do people need The Church at Shelby Crossings? Well, I’ll let you answer that. And when you determine the answer, be sure to share it with an unchurched friend.
I’m praying for you, as you live your life “on mission” this week, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.