I sometimes refer to formerly having a church-centered life. I don’t think I intended to end up in a Christian bubble, but somehow that is where I found myself. After we married and started a family, it seemed that our life just became more and more Christian. We got involved at our church and began friendships with lots of other Christians. Our kids attended Christian school, my radio was turned to a Christian station, and most of the books on my nightstand were Christian.
When we became involved in leadership and teaching, this only accelerated. More time was required for meetings and serving members of the church body in whatever way needed. Of course, there were many more Christian books to read in order to teach and lead. This was our ministry, and the importance of it was continually reinforced. At this point, I didn’t give much thought to the poor or the lost. Our ‘calling’ was to the church, to raise up, to train, and to disciple. I’m not saying those are bad things, but we were raising up others to also serve in the church.
And then the bubble burst.
The radio still plays its Christian tunes, but the Christian books were set aside, at least for a time, many seeming irrelevant now.
We suddenly had time to see the people around us. It honestly was like having blinders removed. Sadly, we saw relationships we had neglected due to our busy schedule.
We experienced betrayal and condescension from people we trusted and served. We also discovered loyalty and true relationships in places we never expected.
We saw self-importance that had clouded our perspective of everything. We saw with great clarity the error of the path we were on. We are grateful for the opportunity for ourselves and our children to see God’s kingdom from a different perspective.
Now when I think about church, I don’t automatically think of the Sunday morning service we attend. Personally, I feel more like we’ve had church when we share a meal with friends whose hearts are knit with ours.
When I think about ministry, I think in everyday terms of how I can express life and blessing in my world. Sometimes I worry about how small my reach seems to be of who I can touch. I am learning to follow the holy spirit about what I should be doing, without trying to take on more than he says for now.