Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can You Go Back?

Driving in the car makes my brain search for things to occupy it's time. Yes, I think that cars are simply a way to get from one place to another and that "driving" is overrated and simple if you just use common sense. Anyway, I digress...

When I drive home from work I almost always pass the Church building that I spent about 12 years of my life in and out of. Most days I just pass it without even noticing, other days, my brain is still searching for something to think about and that building can open up doors that my brain walks through before I can stop it.

The other day I wondered if I would ever go back for a visit and I imagined how it might go - what I might feel. This is not the first time my brain pondered this and the result was not much different than usual - it might be fun to see a few friends, but it would be more trouble than it's worth. It would simply be a social visit and not about worshipping God.

Nothing new there, that's just about where my brain stops with that subject - but the other day it kept going...

Can you go back?

For most of my life, I was surrounded by a "sub-culture" that I called my "Church family" or just "Church". The "Church of Christ" was IT and that's all I knew. My grandparents, my mom, my friends, most of my extended family in some way, shape or form associated with this group. I went to a Christian college - that is to say a college associated with the "Church of Christ". At least MY understanding of what the "Church of Christ" was. My "world" was a certain size and shape and everything beyond that enclosure was just not important - not relevant.

God has lead me somewhere I didn't expect, but I am convinced that He led me and I'm just glad that I stumbled my way behind Him enough to get to where He wants me to be. For many years - maybe 10 or more - I have come more and more to the conclusion that A cappella worship is a preference, a style, not a mandate. Even when I wandered to where I call "Church Home" now, at first I still believed that my preference was A cappella worship, but that based on my options and what God had put before me that worshipping in a "non-A cappella" style was OK. In fact, I felt that it would be good to be able to go "back and forth" if needed and not be hindered ONLY by the "make music in your heart" clause.

Now my brain poses the question (as I'm driving home)... Could I go back?

The answer is generally "No". Not because I want to make a statement about the correctness of my position, not because of some resentment. Just simply this. I have grown and my view of God and His kingdom has also grown - it's a great deal bigger now. My world is bigger now and frankly I don't believe it would fit in the door of that building.

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18