Thursday, May 31, 2007

Are You Deep Or Shallow?

Not long ago I was having a conversation with a close friend. We were discussing attitudes towards church. Talking about why people go to church. What they expect church to be. Things like that.

My friend said something that took me by surprise, just a little. She had grown up in church and feels that being involved in a local body of believers is essential for all believers.

Yet still she said..."I'm just a shallow Christian."

Wow! Do you know what it takes to admit that? To admit it when you've been a Christian for all of your adult life?

She is so far ahead of another friend of mine. This friend I call my "Country Club Church" friend. When looking for a 'church' to attend, this friend wants to know what activities the church has. Wants to know if the church will fill her social calendar for her. If you ask her what her pastor preached on last Sunday (or any Sunday for that matter) she would not be able to tell you. Sunday School lesson? No time for that! There are socials to plan and projects to do!

Then there is the lady that sat in front of me a few months back. Her expression said it all. "BORING!" Throughout the entire service she kept talking to the other ladies sitting beside her. It seemed they were critiquing a fashion show rather than worshipping our Loving Lord. She just seemed bored with the whole concept of being in church on that Sunday. I had to ask myself (because I didn't have the nerve to ask her) "Why is she here? She didn't appear to hear one word that was sung or preached!"

Please don't think me judgemental. I wonder when I fit the above descriptions?

When do I become shallow in my walk? When am I afraid to go deeper?

When am I more concerned with the date of the class Christmas White Elephant gift exchange than I am about the real meaning of Christmas?

When do I attend church in 'absent' mode? Let my mind wonder to anything and everything else that I could be doing that day?

What about you? How will you approach our Loving Lord's house of worship next time?

Will you tip-toe in? Stay safely in the shallow water? Not letting anything challenge you or change you? Or will you say "I'm diving in, head-first, sink or swim, I want all of my Loving Lord that I can get my hands on?"

Will you be looking at what everyone is wearing to see who 'obviously' went shopping this week for new clothes? Will you be looking for the sign up sheet for the next social? Will you be hoping to catch up on the latest town gossip? Or will you recognize the holy place that you have entered and turn your focus wholly and completely on our Loving Lord and what He wants you to learn that day?

Will you planning your next vacation on the back of the bulletin? Will you be dreaming of being somewhere else? Will you be sitting 'absent' in the pew? Or will you clear your mind of all distractions and focus on the One that loves you with a never-ending love and desires your complete worship of Him?

Will stay shallow or go deep?

1 Peter 1:18-21 (The Message) Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ's sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It's because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I grew up in a "Country Club Church". It's sad. I know there are people who were there to worship (and they did)....there were just so many there that were feeding their social needs.

And I confess, I've been there too on occasion. I know there are times when I approach my worship very shallowly (is that a word?)....and times I'm hungering to go DEEPER....much DEEPER. I pray that it's more of the latter for I know that's the desire of God's heart.


:-) Susan