It’s amazing how quickly I become spoiled. When that which I think is exceptional becomes part of my every day occurrence, I get to expect it. This is true in relationships, in employees, and in my church. I am very blessed to go to a church that not only challenges me and excites me on a regular basis, but where I have a community of people who support me and love me even when there’s not a lot to love. There was a time in my life where these things were ideals rather than practices. Now that they are just a part of my week, its easy to take them for granted.
The shocking reminder of how blessed I am occurs any time I visit another group of people gathering to worship God. Sometimes the reminder comes from joining a similar group and recognizing how blessed they feel to be a part of the community, and it reminds me that I’m so blessed to get to experience the same thing. Other times the reminder comes from visiting a group that’s noteworthy for their contrast. In these circumstances, I’m astonished by how a group of seeming strangers get together for the practice of church without ever experiencing community.
While experiencing the latter recently, I was struck by the dearth of substance to the message from the pulpit. Its not that the message was bad, it wasn’t. But if I had to summarize what the message was saying it was basically “be o.k”. Compare this to the 5-week series on eternal life that I just heard, and its hard not realize the disparity. Sure – being ok is a good ideal – and letting go of things that prevent us from experiencing God’s majesty is also good. But just being o.k. is settling for the most basic premise of the Christian life. Additionally being o.k. is great – if by that you mean letting go of sin and that which prompts sinful behavior. However, in this life, there’s always going to be pain, trials, and circumstances that challenge us. Being confidence in God’s faithfulness goes a long way in navigating these circumstances with an eternal perspective, but its never going to make the injustices of this world seem right.
There is a lot of things that are comforting about being a Christian. However, being a Christian is never settling for comfort and becoming complacent. Just being o.k. is doing a disservice to the Gospel, to ourselves, to the Cross and to our Savior. It mocks His sacrifice and causes us to miss the joy and strength that comes from digging deeper and investing more.