Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Grace and peace to you, friends.
I was meeting someone in a caribou coffee shop last week. I went to the counter to order my coffee. I always carry my mug with me, so i put it on the counter and asked for a light roast coffee. The barista looked at me and very matter of factly said, “we don’t have any light roast right now.” I said, “really”. She said, “really”. No explanation given. I said, “ok, i’ll have a dark roast.” She took my cup, and started filling with dark roast, but it only filled half way. She looked at me and said, “i guess the dark roast is gone too.” I said, “Am I in a coffee shop?” As much coffee as i drink, and as many coffee shops as I have been in, I can’t ever remember ALL the pots being empty. Miss Barista said, “I’ll make some light roast.” I went to the bathroom and when i came back there was a line of 4 people waiting for coffee. Miss B., my half filled dark roast in hand, asked if i wanted dark or light. “Light, please.” She filled my cup, took my money and didn’t even say thank you. It seemed very odd to me that the coffee shop was out (even temporarily) of the product that it sells.
As I was waiting for my friend to arrive, I began to think about my life. We all live out a number of roles in our lives. I got to thinking how I often, for example, I “advertise” being a good husband, but how little I really go the extra mile for Lisa. I “advertise” being a good dad, but how often I don’t really listen to what my kids are saying. I “advertise” being a good son, but how little time I actually carve out for my mom. And on and on it goes with friend, and pastor, and brother, and neighbor…. Living a consistent, faithful life in every area of our lives is a hard thing to do.
Then I got to thinking about the church, my realm of business. I wonder how many times people show up at worship gathering and wonder, “is this all there is?”, because it is empty. Maybe of people, but mostly of the Spirit and power of God. I wonder how many times people show up at some kind of church event and think, “this could have been a whole lot better if…” For some reason the church manages to do stuff that is only half full. I wonder how many times people show up and get a cold shoulder.
If living a consistent, faithful life in every area of our lives is a hard thing to do, it is even more difficult to do within the context of our church, or business, or service club…because our individual stuff is multiplied by everyone else going about the same business in their own inadequate way.
Sometimes recognizing where we fall short is the beginning of encouragement. But I am believing more and more that we need regular, supernatural intervention in our individual lives and in our corporate lives in order to live out faithfully and consistently what we believe. Just showing up doesn’t make it anymore. We must be engaged. We must be empowered. We must have greater purpose than this life we live. I believe that calling on the Spirit of the God of the universe in Jesus Christ to enable us to be the best spouse, parent, child, sibling, friend, co-worker, neighbor is the start of consistent, faithful living. I know it is what I need to do. I want to encourage you to do the same, that we might approach all of life, full to overflowing.
God bless you richly in these days.