When minors drive the family bus, you’ve got problems…
Now definitely minors in the sense of underaged kids but I’m really talking today about….(you’re not going to like it)
I had a young engineering student who worked on one of my crews and was really really smart. His grasp of electrical theory was beyond the others on my crew but he was “book smart”. That’s how we used to describe someone who wasn’t very practical but thought he knew more than everyone else.
I had a choice of two of the crew to install a somewhat expensive piece of equipment in a renovation that had been used but was being moved to a different location. One of the guys was Book Smart and the other one was almost the polar opposite in that he was savvy with his hands and could just figure something out that he didn’t understand. I chose Book Smart.
I chose wrong.
Forty five minutes later he comes back from his work truck with a piece of paper in his hand which he wanted me to look at, the schematic for the control wiring of the unit in question. I looked at it very briefly and said “Looks ok to me”. Then I said “Do you see ____ over there? He doesn’t understand what you’ve just written up, but he’d have that equipment mounted and running already.”
Book Smart said “How?”
“Well,” I said “He wouldn’t have known enough to draw this up but then maybe he would have wondered why he needed to draw up a diagram of why something was factory designed to work the way it built and actually had been working for twenty years? He would have assumed the new feeder would have been terminated in the old feeder lugs and asked me to check it before he turned it on.”
Book Smart said “Oh”
Book Smart did what we do when we find ourselves in an unfamiliar situation, he ran home to momma. He did what he was comfortable doing. The schematic was his priority because he had done many schematics, but it wasn’t the company’s priority at all. We just wanted the equipment to actually be up and working the way it was designed to.
I think he was unsure of how to practically mount the unit on the wall and got a little stuck. We do it in family and specifically parenting all the time.
I know that we say we love our kids and would die for them, but too often our motive lets us off the hook in our own minds from the actually result our priorities are giving us.
There was a man born blind in the Bible that Jesus heals. If you want to hear the story told just click on the video link in the blog, you will probably find it amusing and also fairly hard hitting as I don’t think I could write it the same way I could preach it. The long and short of it is this:
The blind man’s parents were questioned by the religious leaders of the day, who hated Jesus, about the validity of the miracle. The miracle itself is a fascinating story you probably want to watch, but now the leaders are trying to discount the miracle in hopes of discounting Christ… His parents would undoubtedly said they loved their blind son and would die for him (just like you and I would say about our kids), but in responding to loaded questions by mean, spiritually blind people about the healing of their sons eyes they waffled and only answered what they couldn’t deny anyways.
“Is this your son? Was he born blind? How does he see now? Who did it?”
“Yes this is our son. Yes he was born blind. We don’t know how he sees or who did it”
We don’t read this passage with our brains turned on sometimes but I was imagining the adult son standing right beside them saying “I’m not deaf mom and dad. I’ve already told you how I see and Who did it. Actually I’m not blind anymore and can actually see you talking about me, remember?”
So these loving parents didn’t want to get kicked out of the synagogue, or maybe curling club in our day, because the religious leaders had already decided Jesus was a fake and anyone believing in him would get kicked out of the club they called church. It’s always a crushing blow to me when people who call themselves Christ followers deny the actual Christ trying to work in their lives and churches by telling Him he’s not allowed to do things they don’t agree with that He’s actually already doing. Tiny rant…
Church without Jesus is nothing more than a social club. Venue Church can never become that. We’ll stick with the blind man’s response “All I know is that I was blind and now I see!” I like that statement because it keeps me grounded in the reality of my existence without Jesus, but maybe somebody’s life actually being redeemed is too simple for Book Smart folks who would rather draw a diagram about why someone’s suffering is their own fault (which gets a well deserved “DUH….” a large percentage of the time, though not in the blind man’s case), than actually feel their pain and connect someone with the Healer of mankind? Feelin me?
That last paragraph is also why comfortable religious people generally don’t call Venue home… whatever, looks like our market for connecting sinners to Jesus is still fairly large so we’re good for the rest of our lives.. Tiny Rant: a religious family wanted me to kick a sinner out of church one time. I still can’t figure out if that means I’d still be allowed to attend the church I pastor, or if they would also be disqualified from coming too? We love to look at other people’s sin and say “What’s their problem? Can they even be saved?”
No matter what the word on the street is (which in Canada could be mostly disregarded as untrue we just lack the courage to call people on it), we’ve never kicked anyone out of church in 30+ years of ministry. I know people get offended and leave and spread rumours about being treated horribly and getting kicked out, but the truth is.. that has never actually happened. I just asked my dad who’s the most honest guy I know and who I took the church over from.
“But so and so said…”
Look sweetheart, so and so ain’t my dad.
(Except this one time a religious lady lost her mind on one of our awesome Sunday School teachers for showing a cartoon video (which was totally approved) and insisted she would do the same again to my dad in a later conversation. Dad wasn’t cool with random people abusing our volunteers and told her so and that if she wouldn’t be nice she could leave if that’s how she insisted on handling herself? Not sure what else he could do there…)
That turned out to be a slightly bigger rant but one does get tired of hearing ridiculous rumours about himself and his own dad which educated people somehow swallow and spread. Do your dang homework before you get sucked into someone’s agenda who wants to damage people and churches and the person of Jesus!
Looks like our culture is not really that different from the blind man’s eh?
A notable work has just happened and all the people who should be excited about it have already made up their minds that it’s their right to judge whether Jesus is right or wrong. They actually thought He sinned when He healed the blind man on the Sabbath!
The blind man has had this stupid running conversation with leaders and people and his own parents on the back burner while he is… you ready?…
Just looking around for the first time in his entire life! “Wow! That’s what people LOOK LIKE? All the colours! Is THAT a bird? Hey, maybe I could actually have a family now? THAT’S what a woman looks like? WHOA-MAN!” (wo-man? see what I did there?:)
When asked the same ignorant faithless question for the umpteenth time he has a “moment”.
“Why, this is a marvellous thing!…” John 9:30
Then he goes off on them and gets kicked out of the club. The club his parents carefully avoided getting kicked out of.
Since when does what hockey parents think about your family priorities of putting God first and going to church and small group pull rank on what is actually the best thing for your kids? Why on earth do we let the minor priorities of life sneak up and start driving the bus?
This next part is going to hurt you…
Eternity for our kids. You say you love them but do you even care to explore the possibility of an eternity with or without the God who designed them to be with Him forever?
Jesus hands the blind kid an actual life! He’s been told his entire life that he was blind because either he (in the womb) or his parents were terrible sinners, a common religious mindset of their day. Funny how blind people’s awareness and other senses are that much sharper than the rest of ours are? When he brings the hammer down on the self righteous, judgemental religious people I’m convinced he did it out of an overwhelming insight into his own sinful soul, which he was very familiar with! How could a religious person be so familiar with a holy God and treat His Son with such contempt? It doesn’t add up to an actual connection with an actual God when you start thinking your righteousness apart from Jesus’ blood means something in the sight of heaven!
Jesus gives the blind son the life his own parents couldn’t and the eternity they weren’t even in touch with. They didn’t like that part.
“I’ll parent my own kids, thank you very much!” Ok.
“Jesus take the wheel!” is what you’ll cry when the family bus heads off the cliff but I suspect He’s saying to you right now “Let go of the wheel first”?
Christ is the head of His body the church. Maybe when Jesus is actually driving the bus and not people’s opinions it would be best for our families? Now sometimes we would rather forget that a lone head doesn’t drive much without the body. We can claim it’s just “Me and Jesus!” (because we really means it’s just ME) but He won’t allow it for. He SETS the members in the body…
I consider that when Jesus and His body actually drive my family bus I’m right where He wants me to be. We organize our lives around our actual priorities and if putting Christ first bothers people in our minor priorities we’re ok with that. I do know that I will always be distracted the night of the best Venue Group of my life, that crucial topic that my family can’t live without. I know the best sermon is the one I had to fight hardest to get to, disappoint the most minors for!
Salvation is free but everything else is going to cost you.
The last thing I would ever want is to watch my girls be given a life with Jesus that I simply can’t personally give them and be concerned because some random person disagrees with my priorities from some kid’s activity or sports group.
I got spine and I don’t care.
All I know is that you’ll tell me your family has the right priorities but all I have to do is watch what you actually do with your time next week.