Out of Reach

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.”

Long Journey

My little family went to Seattle last week for a much-needed vacation. We saw waterfalls and lavender fields, deep green forests and majestic mountains… and we saw A LOT of the inside of an airplane! The beautiful Pacific Northwest was a treat; the long, long journey there was NOT. We were cramped up in our tiny airplane seats, Windsor strapped into her car seat between us for hours… and hours and hours… We were sleepy, hungry, sore, and grumpy. We made the best we could of the journey, listening to music and watching movies and eating snacks, but it was uncomfortable. At moments, it was downright miserable!

How like life! Sometimes the journey of life is downright miserable. Sometimes we are doing our best, just slogging through the difficult times, making the best of a less than comfortable situation. I made it through that long airplane ride because I was focused on my family beside me. I needed to be tough for them. I needed to be as optimistic as I could be. And I also knew at the end of it, there would be rest. On the days that seem to never end, please remember your church family surrounds you, ready to help you bear your burdens… the hard times won’t last forever even in this earthly life… and when the earthly life is done, eternity with God awaits.