Serving those who are responding to God’s call to love.

Caged Christian

Often, you will find our staff at an off-site facility looking for some inspiration or just a change of scenery from the four, cement walled offices that we sit at in our church offices. You might find us at a little hipster coffee shop like Starbucks, Blue Door, or Panera. Is Panera even hipster? Panera is like the old people’s hipster’s place. Quite frankly, Panera is very comfy for me, which tells you something about me, which we won’t go there. I’m old, not hipster, just for clarification. So, going back to getting away from the church because we need a change of scenery; it is our work place with which we come to every day on a weekly basis, day in and day out.

It is because of this, that my co-worker and I often seek other resources to draw inspiration to plan for our upcoming year. God led us to a lovely lady who graciously let us stay at her home and process our thoughts and plan our year for the children’s ministry. Her home is nestled back on a piece of land that reminded us of old Florida from a long time ago. The road to her house was covered by old oak trees and bent palm trees that dipped into a river. Moss dripped from the trees that hid the cabin-like two story home. Fish filled the river banks waiting for their evening feeding rituals. Beautiful white cranes swooped lowly and gracefully over the top of the water without a sound. Bubbles gurgled up in the little creek from a green, moss covered turtle that was trudging under water, stepping over the rocks on the bottom of the river bed. Ducks took off with panic and chaotic, flustered squawking while we looked for whatever was chasing them. My co-worker and I had gone on a prayer walk around the grounds and had nervously laughed and wondered if alligators were back in these parts because we were surrounded by water on all sides.

The grounds were breath taking and it was all of God’s creation, wrapped in peace, beauty and majesty. You might wonder what my point is in all this. During this focus time, God led us to a book called
Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. In his book, Mark talked about seeing nature in its true form. He shared how he had the opportunity to go to the Galapagos Islands to see the animals in their natural habitat. He was awe struck by the beauty of it all. He then shared how he went to the DC Zoo and saw the exact same animals and it felt completely different. Not even close. It just wasn’t the same. It was so different than seeing them in their natural habitat.
He then had a thought and wondered if churches do to people what zoo’s do to the animals.

Mark said that “he loves the church and that he wasn’t saying the church ‘caging’ people is intentional. In fact, it may be well intentioned. But too often we take people out of their natural habitat and try to tame them in the name of Christ. We try to remove the risk. We try to remove the danger. We try to remove the struggle. And what we end up with is a caged Christian.”

Mark also said that “If you would describe your relationship with God as anything less than adventurous then maybe you think you are following the spirit but you have settled for something less- something I call inverted Christianity. Instead of following the spirit, we invite the spirit to follow us. Instead of serving God’s purposes, we want Him to serve our purposes. And while this may seem like a subtle difference it makes an ocean of difference; the result of this inverted relationship with God is not just a self-absorbed spirituality that leaves us feeling empty it’s also the difference between spiritual boredom and spiritual adventure.

Mark then went on to say that he always “prayed for a hedge of protection around his three children. (Who doesn’t)
But when was the last time you asked God to make you dangerous?”

There is so much more to this book that was so good….I could go on…and this article is just way too long…so I challenge you to get this book and let the Wild Goose adventure begin!

 

Meribeth Sterrett
Board of Directors (Secretary)

Leave a Reply

ORGANIZATION

Loves Calling International, Inc.
11953 Ellison Wilson Road
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Phone: (970) 270-0314
EIN: 47-4298542