Friday, August 07, 2009

The Manager Malfunction

I was watching the news yesterday morning and was blown away by what I saw.  Fox News, and I'm sure every other media outlet, reported that a lady was asked to leave a Missouri Burger King because her six month old wasn't wearing shoes.  The manager told her "we take the health codes very seriously!"  The Mom was a little surprised so she put some socks on her child, but the manager pointed her to the sign "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service."  The Manager told her socks were insufficient and that she would need to leave before he called the police.  The police...REALLY?  Now, as you can imagine, Burger King Inc. is bending over backwards to stop the negative image it's received due to their manager's actions.  They have invited her in for "The Royal Treatment" (maybe that includes a burger and fries and a milkshake...or maybe The King himself will show up for a little dance and a burger celebration).  

Now I bring this whole thing up because people amaze me. I'm amazed how some people seem so inclined to keep life in focus, situations in focus, and systems in focus, and seemingly just move forward understanding what it's all about.  But I'm just as amazed that some seem to miss "the point".  I am floored by this manager who I think truly believed that he was in the right.  He truly believed that this 6 month old was violating the health code...I have no doubt that he was sincere.  And I have no doubt that many people in church are sincere about their understanding of certain passages, traditions, etc...and yet like the manager, take that to places it was never intended...know what I mean?

Here's the idea...Jesus gets questioned by the Pharisees because his disciples break off some grains as they walk through a field and they do it on the Sabbath.  The Sabbath was obviously created for a good reason right?  Rest, Refocus, and Stop the Busyness (no that wasn't just a 21st century problem) that so distracts us from focusing on God, but the Pharisee's pulled a Burger king manager!  They inform Jesus that their actions are against the "Sabbath 'Health' Code" and Jesus responds with this: The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people the Sabbath. (mark 2)  It amazes me that people today can do the very same thing. We can get so focused on the "how" of stuff and miss the "why." I'm convinced that Jesus really wants us to get the WHY right, and that when we do, the HOW takes care of itself.  I don't think that I've put it in those words before, but that actually describes how I've felt for years about how the church should function in our world.  

At what point do we see ourselves as the BK Manager, and someone in corporate needs to say, "we are sorry for their decision, they missed the point."  Please come back and let us give you the Royal Treatment! Unfortunately, I think we miss a good chunk of the world because they see us really focused on the "how" of church instead of the "why." To the world..."I'm sorry, come back and let us give you the Royal Treatment.!"

Love ya...Have a good day!



Sunday, August 02, 2009

Family...and Matters at hand.

Have you ever wondered...Do I have a place that I can escape to? Some of you answered that question immediately, you know where that place is. For some it's the gym, others it's the woods, others it's your ipod...but for some of you, you're thinking do I have a place? I have come to realize something about myself, and my immediate family. I noticed recently after some stuff that went on that the only thing I could think of was getting home to my girls. I just needed to be with them, away from stuff. I was blessed to be greeted by Emerson as I came in the door. She was excited to see me. For a moment, it changed everything, or rather, nothing else mattered. I just didn't care about all that stuff. If I'm really honest I have over the last few months, just longed to be home with them. Stuff doesn't follow me there...know what I mean? Imagine yourself in your place, isn't it safe and "away" from all that bothers you? Don't you get a sense that you are free to be you? Maybe you don't go to your place to escape, but rather for renewal. I'm fine with that too, renewal happens for me at home too, but sometimes it's just escape.

It makes me think about how Jesus handled those stressful moments compared to how I handle them. I'm really not thinking about the cross now, cause that's just NEXT LEVEL, and really none of us face that kind of stress. I'm talking about the day-to-day stuff he faced with people always being in his face(his "job), with people always needing something (his passion), with frustrations with his closest friends the Disciples (his friends and family)...where did He go? What did he do in those moments? I'm thinking specifically about the moments following his teaching on the side of lake when he told his Disciples to go ahead of him. That's a moment I'd like to spend as a fly on the bush beside him as he talked with his Dad. What did he voice as needs/concerns then? What thoughts came across as he had those conversations with God? What questions does an Almighty, flesh-inhabiting God have when he's at his wits end? What does he say when, as my wife says, "he's met his people quota?" Does anyone else wonder this kind of stuff? Don't get me wrong I've got plenty of questions when I get there (heaven that is - although I don't think they'll matter then), but sometimes I just need some comfort to know that I'm not the only one needing some times of refreshing, "away from the crowds"... even those closest to you. Anyone tracking???

I'll end with this. . .above a lot of other spiritual things this one thing, maybe as much as the miracles, amazes me most about Jesus: He was able to keep pace with the crowds, and His vision, and still keep pace with his Father. I am convinced this is impossible without times away with your Creator. So wherever your place is, I invite you to go, right away!!! Go see what, or rather Who, is waiting for your there.

Love ya! Matt