One thing I really miss from my youth is the hours spent just hanging out with my friends. Back then we didn’t have video games or electronic devices or um-teem number of television stations. All we had was our own sense of adventure and time. Needless to spent hours of time out doors playing made up games and even more time just hanging out at one of many places. One of our favorite places to go was the mall. There we would compete with each other at the local arcade, comment on people walking by or spend time seeing the latest movie.
I learned a lot about my friends in the hours we spent together. I know hanging out sounds dull but we were happier and closer then. Sadly once adult life caught up with us we stopped hanging out together and almost all of us went our separate ways. I look back on that time and wish I could recapture those moments now, but times have changed and become more hectic.
Those by gone days remind me of all the time Jesus spent hanging out with his disciples. As they traveled together they learned a lot about their savior and friend and while Jesus, being God come to the Earth, already knew all about the disciples found out what it felt like to hang out with your friends. We need to get back to those days with fellow believers, just hanging out with other believers in order to get to know each other better and grow as Christians.
When I attended high school, many many, many years ago we had four groups of people in our school, the cool people (those with status for one reason or another), the jocks (self-explanatory), the nerds (the smart people who didn’t fit in with the cool people) and the others (the ones who didn’t fit in anywhere sometimes by choice.). I started out hobnobbing in the academic world of the cool people.
Then one day I found out I just didn’t like the way the cool people treated those who didn’t fit their mold of what it meant to be cool. By the way jocks and cheerleaders always seem to be cool. In my junior year I ended up in the world of the others…by choice. These people were true friends who like you for being you. They didn’t judge you or make you feel like you didn’t want to be in school.
I have discovered over the course of my Christian life that the church can be like high school with the members sorting themselves into groups. If you don’t fit in a group, well you become one of the others, on the outside looking in. It should not be this way. A church should be focused on the vertical and should not have any type of division but should be all inclusive.
Over the course of my Christian life I have attended or visited many churches. Some of the churches have been mega churches with a couple thousand member, still others have had moderate membership upwards of a few hundred and lastly are the smaller churches with around 50 members. The most recent church I attended was a small church. I found I like the small church the best but sadly churches are at a disadvantage because they are not always viable financially.
Our church was in this position so we switched to an affiliation with another church. This at first glance is a good thing but now it appears our church is locked into getting the number of the attendees up. Now as we expand those of us who once called the church home have left and are being replaced by new members. This leaves some us long timers feeling lost in the membership shuffle. So in my thinking it is not always better when my church is bigger than your church especially when you loose the focus of why we are ALL entering the building in the first place…to honor God and fellowship with other believers.
Today’s drawing is a throwback to a time when in the Garden of Eden all the animals got along together. The lion and lamb sitting around like best friends surveying the of what was around them. Selfishness ruined the Garden. The desire to have more than what was allotted. Since that ill felt day not much has changed in the world and until selfish hearts are changed from looking inward to caring hearts which are looking outward nothing in this world will ever change.
“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”— John C. Maxwell