Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reflection for August 19, 2009

"Extreme Makeovers Available Here"

A young family came to the big city for the first time. The father and son were waiting for the mother by the elevator. Neither had ever seen an elevator before. An older lady with grey hair and a cane pushed the button and the elevator door opened. She walked onto the elevator. The man and his son did not get aboard because his wife had not gotten there yet. In a few minutes, the elevator door opened again and a young, well dressed, attractive lady walked into the lobby. The man immediately compared the woman he first saw get on the elevator with the one he saw get off. He then told his son to go find your mother quick and tell her to get over here.

I see a parallel in this amusing story of how some people feel about church. They expect to walk through the doors of the church and to come out a few minutes later with all their problems solved and a bright and new future before them. Individuals who have not attended church in years find themselves in a jam. They realize that they need something more in life. They realize that their problems are bigger than their capacity to deal with them. They go to church as a last resort. Some even attend for several weeks. When the situations in their life do not change, the assumption is that church does not work and they stop coming. They fell to realize that it usually took years for the problems in their life to come to a head. This being the case, they should not expect that everything will change just by walking through the door of a building.

There is nothing magical about a church building. As important as church can be in pointing us in the right direction, the thing that one really needs is a relationship with the One who the church is built upon. When we are willing to open our lives to Him, He changes us inside and we begin to want different things. Our problems do not automatically fall away. It takes time to work through them.

In Romans 12:2 Paul writes, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”(NASB). Paul is clearly talking about a process. A decision to follow Christ may come at a specific time in our life but an understanding of all that it means is a process we must go through. In this process we learn to think different, to respond different, and to feel different. With Christ’s assistance we are able to come to grips with the mistakes of the past and to deal with our problems in a healthy manner. We are able to begin to experience the full life that the Scripture promises.

Do not interpret this to mean that church is a waste of time. It is not. I am simply saying do not expect an extreme make over immediately. Do not expect an immediate remedy to all your problems. Do expect to encounter the living Christ and believe that He will change your heart and create in you a desire to follow Him. Do expect Him to equip you to handle your problems in a wiser manner. Do expect Him to lead you to a new and fuller life.

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