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Posts Tagged ‘status quo’

One of the blessings of not growing up in a family that went to church, is that I have never felt bound to a certain denomination, or style of worship service, or any of the other hang ups that we can be prone to as groups of people (not to say I have not attained my own hang ups over the years).

I remember clearly a conversation I had once with a teenager from hubby’s youth group, and her response to doing something ‘new’ was “but, we’ve never done it that way.” Yikes! When a teenager, at a time of life of questioning and challenging status quo, is stuck in “but that’s how we always do it” our churches have a problem.

Now, I have to say that I am a bit of a traditionalist. I love forms that have rational behind them. I agree that we need to honor the rites and rituals that are based on Biblical teaching. I do not, though, believe we should do things just because it is our tradition (ever seen Fiddler on the Roof? I am hearing the song “Tradition” in my head right now).

Traditions are not bad, they just need to be authentic.

For instance, there was the story of the handed down method of cooking a roast in one particular family. As the granddaughter was learning from her mother how to properly prepare it, like great grandma used to, the mother instructed her to cut about three inches of the roast off, before placing it in the pan. When the granddaughter asked why, the grandmother said, “it’s tradition.” The granddaughter persisted in wanting to know why. Just then the great grandmother walked into the room, and so, the question was asked, ‘why do we cut the end of the roast off?’ To which the great grandmother replied, ‘I do not know why you cut it off, but I had to because my roasting pan was too small.’ Authentic tradition? Not!

It is so easy to get into habits, that become traditions, that become a part of the fabric of who we are. If who we are is just a people of tradition followers, then our life is formed only by the past. But, if who we are is a people of only what is new, then our life is formed only by the present. To move into the future, we need to bring with us the traditions that are authentic, along with fresh perspectives and a willingness to be open to creating new, equally authentic traditions.

“The most damaging phrase in the language is:
“It’s always been done that way.”
Grace Hopper
(US Navy officer and American computer scientist, known as a pioneer in the field)

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I remember the day I wanted to run away. The temptation was so great, I was almost certain that I should just do it. Everything within me wanted to run. It had seemed as though nothing was going right, and I saw no other way out. The horizon looked to be so appealing to me, and I so wanted to turn around and head that way. I had nothing packed, but really didn’t care, I was ready to go.

That was just the other day.

I had just bought groceries, and was heading home. It had been a beautiful warm spring afternoon. The sun was setting, and the air was clean with the fragrance of spring. There was something in the sky, in the air, that just made me want to turn my vehicle around and drive from the direction of my home.

It is not that I was particularly frustrated with my life. I love my family. I enjoy my job. I have good friends, and a good life. It was more a matter of seeking adventure, of seeking something new, of seeking …

I think my inclination to run away is not something that only I have experienced. I have a feeling that we all have days (weeks, months, even years) when we simply feel that our life is missing something, that we are missing something.

Some give in to the temptation to seek. We see that in the person who is regularly changing jobs, changing cars, changing houses, changing spouses. We see their frustration with the status quo, then we see them make a change. They are in a state of delight and excitement. Then, the novelty of the new ‘toy’ starts to wear off, and, gradually, they are back in a new state of status quo … and it usually does not look too different from the original one.

So, if new changes and adventures and people do not end our seeking, then they are not what we are really seeking.

What we seek does not get found in leaving the life we have. What we seek is not available to us here and now. What we seek is beyond, not just the front door of our homes, but beyond our earthly life. We seek and strive for the Eden existence we were created for.

This life we live is not what we were created for. We were created to spend our lives walking in the garden with our Creator.

There will still be days when we just want to run away, because we do live in a flawed world, full of struggles. But we need to keep in mind that there is a place awaiting us, and one day we will be be taken there, by the one who is already preparing a place for us.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You believe in God; believe also in me.
My Father’s house has many rooms;
if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”
John 14:1-4

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