The other morning at church we were doing a “fewer-piece” worship set; I say “we” because it was just me and the piano player, which is a bit unusual for our congregation. During practice I called back to the sound booth that I couldn’t hear Dan in the stage monitor. Then I thought to check his mic, and (typical for me) it wasn’t turned on. It was plugged in, but still not connected to the power source. Duh. (We have patient sound people.)
Kind of like attending church, if you think about it.
I’m all about being a part of a local church, whatever that may look like to different assemblies. Some sit in pews, some under trees. Some worship with guitars and djembes, some with organs and pianos. The point has to do with spiritual government and protection, mutual accountability and encouragement, and connection. Connection is vital. Increasingly I’m becoming of the opinion that we cannot be all God has created us to be without connection—to each other, to God, and to ourselves. And we need all three legs to that stool, or else balance is more than a bit difficult to maintain.
Now granted, to a Christian, everything good thing starts with the grace of God, yet I am also increasingly aware that this connection has a whole lot to do with me. Me and God, that is. I’d even go so far as to say that the other two legs—being plugged into relationship with others, and truly knowing myself—must necessarily be defined by my personal and intimate relationship with my Creator first and foremost.
Naturally, this takes time and not a little creative strategy on my part. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a very l-o-w boredom threshold, that I am excessively distractible, and that I have a history of being somewhat impatient (we’ll call it a “history” and leave it at that.)
These things do not, however, relieve me of the truth of the matter: me and God effects me and me, and me and everyone else. Period. And what I bring to those other relationships, whether it’s perspective, health, emotions, talents, is incredibly dependent on that connection of the first order.
Obviously, God thought so too:
“When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens.” (italics mine.)
If I read this carefully, I can see that it speaks to all three relationships, but the primary one has to do with my individual connection with God.
I may be plugged in to a church, but is my switch turned on?
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.