A blog dedicated to starting conversations.
I am very excited to report that I just finished reading the new book “Weird – Because normal isn’t working” by Pastor Craig Groeschel, and being weird is actually a preferable character trait for Christians. This is a great book and I encourage all of you to read it. You can also listen to his related sermon series by Pastor Groeschel at: http://www.lifechurch.tv/watch/weird/1 .
I agree that it may sound suspicious that I am encouraging you to become weird. However, do we really want to be normal? Have you noticed what normal people are doing lately? Normal people are living life at a frantic pace to try to keep up with what everyone else is doing. Normal people are acquiring so many possessions that they are going more and more into debt. Normal people are too busy to communicate with the people that are most important to them and as a result, their most important relationships are becoming very strained. Many normal people have lost touch of what the most important things in life really are.
In the book, Pastor Groeschel talks about the story of Martha and Mary told in Luke 10:38-40. As you probably recall, Martha and Mary are the sisters of Lazarus (who Jesus raised from the dead). Also, Mary is also the one who anoints Jesus with expensive perfume. In this story, Jesus visits Mary and Martha for dinner. According to the scripture, Martha was “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” while Mary was “hanging on every word Jesus said”. Reacting like most people would, Martha gets upset Mary is not doing her fair share of the work and complains. But Jesus replies “Martha, Martha, you are worried about upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her”. In today’s society, Martha is “normal” and Mary would be considered the “weird” one in this story. I have realized that I have spent a good part of my life acting like Martha when I should have been acting more like Mary instead.
In the Spring of 2002, I completed the Big Sur marathon in California. The course for this marathon runs along the Pacific Coast Highway from Big Sur to Carmel, and is perhaps the most beautiful marathon in the U.S. When I ran the marathon back in 2002, I was so focused on how fast I was running that I didn’t take the time to really take in the beautiful scenery that was surrounding me. If we go back to the Bible story I mentioned earlier, I think Mary would have approached the marathon just like I did – she would have run as fast as possible to try to set a personal record. Mary, on the other hand, would have run slowly and would have stopped several times just to take in the beautiful scenery. She probably would have even sat down to pray along the course because she would have felt God’s presence in many places. She may have taken an hour or so longer to finish the race, but she would have had a much better experience than I had.
Like my experience with the marathon, many of us are racing through life as fast as possible. As a result, we miss the beautiful life that God has created for us. We sometimes work long hours chasing a promotion, but forget to spend time with our kids as they grow up. Or, we become experts at how our favorite sports teams are doing, but we don’t take the time to truly communicate with the people that matter most to us. I suggest that you take breaks along the marathon of life to truly take in the beautiful life that is in front us. We should all try to be more “weird” like Mary and less “normal” like Martha.
I was waiting my turn at the chiropractors office this morning. Just one person in front of me so I could quickly get back to the to do list. A few seconds either way and I would have missed this gem of a conversation between a dad and his small daughter.
This man's daughter, probably about 2 or 3 wanted to go to the play room. I assume she really wanted to go because she asked several times, rather politely, in that little kid kind of way. The father refused each request but I guess he finally thought it would be beneficial to reason with her, giving her an explanation for his denial to her requests. "You can't be in there alone," he finally said. "But dad," in a beautiful, polite, little girl voice, "I'm not alone. Jesus is with me." I waited with a smile for a comeback. "How do you argue that?" was his reply to me, obviously seeing that I was interested.
Oh the concrete thinking of a little child. I was so proud that here was a little girl that got it. I wish I would keep that truth in the forefront of my mind. I confess that I have begun many days with "get out of my way, I have a lot to do." God, forgive me for those moments.
The dad was saved by being called into the room. He said he wanted her to be with him. Already thinking of a blog, I was waiting for a great line like, "you want me to be God with skin on for you?" but there was no such line. Just a gentle reminder of the presence of God in our lives. I needed that.
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- The Lydia Question - by Pastor Zach
- All In! - by Pastor Zach
- The Weight of Sin - by Pastor Zach
- Common and Ordinary Guys Making a Difference - by Pastor Zach
- Different Doors - by Pastor Zach
- Nouwen is no Dummy - by Pastor Ben
- woulda, shoulda, coulda - by Pastor Ben
- That's so Rich - by Pastor Ben
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