We were starving! It had been a long and stressful morning at the children’s hospital and, skipping cafeteria food, we were looking forward to some comfort food. I know how to be a hero to my hungry crew, so I typed Chic-fil-a into my Apple navigation app and took off. I dutifully followed Siri’s directions, eyes on the road, mind on the chicken. We zipped along through traffic and soon enough we were taking our exit along with a million other cars. And then we were getting closer. And then we were circling the airport! Siri hadn’t taken into account that Chic-fil-a was tucked away inside a bustling international airport. That chicken sandwich was far beyond our reach. There were too many barriers. Security. An airline ticket. Airport parking. What I wanted was simply not worth the hassle.
I fear sometimes in the church we can subconsciously put up barriers of all sorts. Perhaps we build walls around ourselves, not letting people or God too close. Perhaps we put up barriers around our traditions, holding on to the past instead of reaching toward the future. Perhaps we build up barriers in front of the seekers and weaker members… barriers like lack of empathy and awareness, lack of amenities, holy jargon, or simply too many hoops to jump. And we might even convince ourselves that those things are important or needed. But Christ paints a very different picture: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
My little family eventually got lunch after that disappointing drive around the airport. But we went elsewhere to get it. I pray our seekers and fledgling Christians won’t find so many barriers in the Lord’s church and go elsewhere because it’s just “not worth it.”