"Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask where have I gone wrong? Then a voice says to me - This is going to take more than one night... In the Book of life, the answers aren't in the back."...Charlie Brown
Saturday, May 16, 2015
I drove about seventy-five miles yesterday afternoon to meet my grandson, the one whose whole life has held such distance between us that, while my heart is no less connected with him, knowing him in who and what he is has been a whole different relationship than what’s been possible with the five who all have grown up “in my back yard”. With two years of college now behind him, questions about his faith are surfacing and his mother suggested a talk with me. We met at Walmart, grabbed a couple of sandwiches from Subway, and motored together to a nearby church where an outdoor pavilion gave us quiet space. I expected “Why not Buddha?” He gave me merely interrogatives (and some good thinking of his own) about fundamentals, inquiries about the Cross, what made us “sinners”, and a concern about his own stumble down the path, healthy investigation every believer ought to make somewhere along the way. Truthfully, in my own opinion, that latter is an exercise that needs to remain “open discussion” in a prayer closet on a regular basis. Just north of us, Cincinnati not only boasts of its own amusement park, but positioned there, in the same neighborhood, is an “auto-mall”, a huge section of ground home to multiple new car businesses, any and every brand all in one place competing for your dollar. It came to me the other day, one of those mental images that frequently pass through this old man’s mind, that today’s Church is much the same. In our area, at least, within a ten-mile radius Christianity gives choice in so far as style of worship, dogmatic beliefs, congregational fellowship and outreach, the only thing commonly claimed being “the product they are trying to sell”. How many people, though, “thump the tires”, read the manual, and check out the consumer reports before signing on the dotted line? Most are content with a salvation validated by the membership contract and are willing to let eternity determine truth at a later date. I want confirmation now, in my “belly”, not my head. I want that for my family. I want that for whosoever has ears to hear. Not forced. Not demanded by thumping my Bible. Either this is real or it is no more than religious ritual. Either His “flow”, or “no go”. He “sells” Himself if this old flawed vessel will but remember that fact…….