Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Hope, my two year old, is constantly on to new things. It is not uncommon for her to climb up on my lap with a book, signaling for me to read to her. It is also not uncommon for her to climb down from my lap when I'm not even halfway through, only to get a different book or be entertained by something else that caught her eye. She is distractible, even when I pour myself into engaging her with a semi-theatrical portrayal of the book's content, attributing different animated voice inflections to different characters. This can be disheartening for the performer (me).I have never connected Eph 4:14 with the activites of a two-year-old before, I think that is an amazing insight. LAcine goes on to say that the local church should be the anchor that we use to have that mature focus.
However, I must remind myself that this is normal activity for a two year old. She is trying to get her hands into everything to figure it out, beginning to process the world around her.
With the mature it is different. They have trained their faculties to be focused, to go in one direction. Christians that are tossed to and fro in multiple different directions, like a two year old constantly being distracted by something more colorful, will struggle to be directional enough to make an impact as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God.
The local church is a stabilizing and protective force. It helps us to grow up so that we can move steadily in one direction, the right direction, bearing gospel fruit with our lives.How many local churches are that way? How many instead chase the latest fad like the two-year-old bored with the book not yet finished?
Another analogy just popped into my head. Lower forms of life, take reptile for example - give birth tot heir young and abandon them. Those birthed must grow to maturity on their own - if they survive at all. Mammals on the other hand, of which humans are a member - nurse their newborns. The highest form of mammalian - us - nurse their young later into life than any other species.
Yet so much of what passes for the church these days seems to behave downright reptilian - they love to birth 'em, but then they turn 'em lose.
Sad, sad, sad.