We have gotten a ton of rain the last few weeks. Its been raining pretty much non-stop the last few days especially and it feels more like a cold rainy time in the late fall or winter rather than early Spring. Anyway, I was on a walk with a dear friend the other day when I saw what the rain had done. The log that is sticking up on the left side of the creek had moved for the first time that I can remember from many many walks at this same place. Every time that I had seen it previously, no matter how much rain had fallen, it was pointing to about 3:00 and now it has moved to more like 6:00. This might not seem like a big deal, but in the context of what we were discussing it really does make a different. We were both talking about some of the things that have come into our lives recently – changes and challenges – some that were expected some that were far from it. We had both experienced things that were great blessings but also some really difficult things. But we both spoke of how we were handling those things that have come into our lives. And then I saw this.
So, for years while I have walked at this same park, the log hadn’t moved but now it finally has – maybe it was that there was just small things that were moving under the surface that finally the last one was washed away and caused it to shift, maybe there were changes upstream that moved the current just enough..who knows exactly what. However, the fact remains that it moved and I wonder how much more it is going to move.
I also just finished reading Brian McLaren’s new book called “The Great Migration” and honestly, the church is a lot like that log. It has remained static through a lot of things that have come its way. And in some ways that’s a great thing – after all, Jesus did tell us to build our house upon the rocks that do not shift when the rains and storms come. But in other ways, the church has remained static, trying to push against the ways that God is moving. At one point he writes, “But whenever I find myself in conversations about “saving the church,” I can’t help but recall Jesus’s words: if you want to save your life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it Jesus’s words make me wonder: could our desire to save our precious religious institutions and traditions actually hasten their demise?”
We put so much energy sometimes into fighting the changes that God is bringing about that we are missing what God is doing. But, like McLaren raises, here what would happen if we allowed ourselves to be pulled into the flow of God’s Spirit?