Tuesday, January 02, 2007
You're A Whiny, Bratty One... & So Am I
My wife and I were attending a fairly large New Years Eve church celebration and some interesting things took place that I'd like to discuss for a few minutes. When we arrived, a large section of seating had been roped off. Of course, we assumed that it must be reserved for a special group of people or something, since it was the best area in the building. As we grew closer, I noticed a sign that read it was simply being roped off until 30 minutes before the service. Being there nearly an hour early, we were elated at the thought that we could simply wait until 6:30 and get, what in our opinion, would be the best seats in the house. As we casually talked and patiently waited next to our chosen row, people began to line up beside us. Some were complaining members, not seeing how it was fair that their normal seats were likely to be swallowed up by a potential visitor (gasp).
The real fun started when some people moved in between us and the row we had intended to sit in. I then noticed some others in the rear access area scoping out "our" seats (I thought). We began to plan out our attack. I told my wife, "you go to this seat and I'll go to this seat", giving us two options. With plans in order and readiness to execute, the time had come – the rope was being lifted and everyone was off and running! As soon as our plans were launched and people were literally grabbing seats like they were the last seats on the ark, I was struck with the thought "what in the world is going on here?". It was Christmas eve at the mall all over again as my wife set her purse down in a seat and another lady ran around in front of her and unapologetically sat on it. As I began to set my Bible down to save a different seat, another lady laid out her arms on the chairs shouting, "Saved! Saved!". It was kind of surreal as I stood there for a moment amongst all of the chaos, seatless and in awe. I looked over at my wife and felt like we were taking part in something that brought great sadness to God. I know it's kind of comical to talk about, but seriously, I believe it grieved God's heart. We were all acting like children… bratty, selfish children.
Within minutes, a group of ladies in front of us denied the request of a woman that wanted to change seats in order for her wheel–chair ridden mother to be able to sit next to her. I was so angry I could have really spoken out of line, but was I really acting that differently? If I were to be honest, I was really no more Christ–like than the rest. I too wanted "my" seat. Of course I wasn't willing to knock down an old lady to get it, but you get my point. What if someone who came to the service and had no knowledge of Jesus saw this display of "the church"? What a tragedy if our pride and arrogance had kept someone from meeting Him! Thankfully, the whole place was filled with messed up Christians like me and no one was likely eternally harmed. Come on church, let's grow up and start acting like we ought. This world is in need of our love and selflessness, let's give it away!
Thank You God for your grace… I'll have a double portion today, please.