We just yesterday finally got the first piece of siding up on our new place that desperately needs to be re-sided. I’m sure hoping Martha’s favorite saying, “beginning—half done…” applies to the BEGINNING of our siding project—now “half done”? We keep getting distracted with other priorities—most recently recovering from our bout with COVID, and the myriad of priorities of daily life that get put off with illness. And don’t forget the lawn needs to be mowed, the groceries picked up, the brakes need to be done… What about the priority of our siding and roof?
The same happens with our lives at church. We all know the priority of proclaiming Jesus, and of growing discipling disciples. But we have that Church Council meeting this week, Church in the Park and Messy Church this weekend to get ready for, of course the Charge Conference coming up that’s got Nominations and paperwork and all, and another flea market to look toward, then the craft show…Does that mean the holidays are just around the corner? We’d better start getting on the ball with planning for our Advent and Christmas specials, too, then… So where did our priority of proclaiming Jesus go?
I’m handicapped, though I’m not sure what to call this handicap. I’ve used the wisdom a lot over the years from the book “Men are Like Waffles and Women are Like Spaghetti,” the title of which almost says it all. I’m a waffle kind of guy—the waffle of my life has a whole bunch of separate boxes that I’m ever bouncing through—my preaching box, my planning box, my praying box, my Mr. Fixit box, my marriage box, my kids box and so on.
Each box has its own focus, so if I’m in my Mr. Fixit box, I’m not usually in my share Jesus box, so I find myself often being handicapped in this way. I struggle with the spaghetti approach, where everything is all tangled and touching each other all at once: where the Jesus discipleship piece is all tied up with every other noodle all at the same time, even though that’s the life Jesus proclaimed.
I need to remember that, while every waffle has all its separate boxes, every waffle is also held together by that ever important foundation piece holding it all together—the part that holds the syrup (or jelly in my case) so nicely in every separate box. For our lives as individuals and for our lives together as a church, that foundation that holds it all together, that holds all the sweetness in every box of our lives, is our life in Jesus, our own journey that makes us discipling disciples, ever welcoming others into the family of Jesus.
If that foundation undergirds all that we do, then our Church Council meeting, our Church in the Park, our flea markets, even our Charge Conference paperwork all hold us together as a people who are discipling disciples, ever proclaiming Jesus through all facets of our lives together. Easier said than done. But in one facet of our scriptures for Sunday, Jesus reminds us “Even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
“Practice” is a good word. Even this takes practice, and we’ve plenty opportunity to practice on our plates! I remember my Little League and high school soccer practice was all every day. Maybe making discipleship a part of all we do should be an every day practice as well.
Time for practice! Rev. Jim