Not long ago I was listening to a podcast that off-handedly mentioned the problem of when our “monkey brain” seems to take over. By this the author meant those times when we are so distracted it seems impossible to accomplish a thing. Like a monkey who can’t stay still in a cage, we jump from one thing to another, never finishing anything, never actually accomplishing or completing what we set out to do in the first place.
Facebook comes to mind, or Twitter, or maybe even the entire internet. When every little corner can be a goldmine of awesomeness, how do we restrain ourselves? I sometimes feel like my world is a box of what one comedian called the “gamble chocolate,” those boxes which may have dark chocolate in one bite, and toothpaste in the next. I never want to just sit down and be still. I never want to be settled and receive what is right in front of me.
If this is true in our lives, how much more is this true here in Christ’s Church! Here we flit from one program to another, from one style to another to another, all in the vain hope that people will want to come experience our little corner of the world. We are no better than so many startup companies that just do whatever the fashion of the moment may be. Sooner or later the bubble bursts, and the elusive holy grail (in the case of the church, more members) moves on to the Next Big Thing. And we are left to pick up the pieces. The gamble chocolate didn’t pay off this time, but I’m SURE it will pay off next time! Let’s try again.
One of the things we must learn to recover is a sense of perspective in the church. Who we are, how we do things and what we do must be seen in terms of decades and even generations, not months or weeks or years. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “all that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” Or in the words of the Scriptures, “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” What we have to give is what God Himself has given us, the Word made flesh who dwelt among us. What we have is hope, and this hope never goes out of style, never becomes out of date or stale.
There is always Another New Thing. There is always something around the corner, another gamble chocolate to try. Our monkey brains, and everything around us, would have us flit and never land. But Christ, who is our Rock, gives us a sure foundation that will never face away.
+Peace Be With You+
Friday of Trinity 6, 2012