Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Musings from a Moving Train

As I type this, I'm barreling along at about 120 miles per hour. At 9:45 am, we boarded in Saratoga Springs, NY. Amtrak 261, also known as the Ethan Allen, is snaking me and my family south along picturesque pine forests along the Hudson River, which looks like a choppy expanse of chocolate milk. In a couple of hours, we will step onto a platform in New York's Penn Station, where a fun-filled day awaits.

I just had one of the most exciting games of checkers ever with my 9-year-old boy. Joy and I love making these kinds of memories with the kids. I'm sure they will never forget the summer we took the train to the big city.

While the kids now stare out the window at the green blur of nature, between Nintendo DS duels with green monsters, I find myself with some time to reflect on more serious things.

Back home, the church search awaits. We're still rolling the dice each Sunday, looking listlessly for a new core of Christians who will welcome us, and with whom we can give our all to serve. I know God will work that all out. But at this moment, I feel like I'm staring at a closet full of ill-fitting garments.

I was once a pastor, albeit in a bi-vocational capacity. Even though it was very hard, I still have a lingering sweet taste for what it felt like: wrapping my arms around the hurting, bearing long with those who were battling sin, teaching God's Word week in and week out, and watching new Christians grow in grace.

Pastoring is by no means a romantic or enviable office. Its fruit grows far slower than we would want it to. It is not glamorous, or good for the ego. But it was something I earnestly enjoyed for the 5 difficult years I did it.

The thought has crossed my mind to invite some of the others who left our church to our home for a Bible study. Most of them are feeling the same sense or futility about their own church search. We have been praying together for the Lord to bring us to whatever new church is best for each of us. But I keep wondering if I am somehow part of our collective future.

The thought makes me tremble. I love to communicate Gods truth, but I love the Bible perhaps more than I understand it. I know it has unmeasurable power to change people when it is unleashed. Churches are tying it down and binding it with man-made rules. And in the process, they're tethering their people to terrestrial hopes that will be eaten by moths within their lifetime. People are gathering around a wooden kitchen match to get warm, trading the white hot warmth of God's glory for passing fancies.

We're almost to Manhattan, so I need to wrap this up.

Unlike this train ride, I have no idea what our destination will be for this church search. But like this train ride, I didn't build the tracks. I have to commit my spirit into the hands of the Builder, who has Redeemed my very life. Surely He will carry me to my next stop.

7 comments:

  1. Nice, Scott. It's an honor to be on this same spiritual journey with you guys...It's good to know we aren't alone.

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    1. Right back at you, Brian. Glad we can share our struggles and experiences together. We love you guys!

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  2. Lovely reflection, Scott. Thank you. Have you and Joy ever been through a Church Planter's Assessment? The ECC has A GREAT one and has been very successful with all kinds of plants. Maybe you should check it out. http://www.covchurch.org/church-planting/

    On the other hand, an increasing number of people are finding house churches to be exactly what they need. Maybe that's what's next for you. I wait with you to see where God leads.

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    1. Thank you, Diana. I will check it out. You always encourage me!

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  3. Scott, praying for you and your family. I think God is working in excitng ways in your life...and there is clearly a little something that is itching to get out inside of you.

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    1. Thanks so much for your prayers, and for reading.

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  4. Scott, you have the spiritual gift of teaching. God gave you that gift, so it could be used. I look forward to reading a future post from you, about how God has led you to a place where you are using that gift once again.

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