Going from Me to We

I love reality TV!  It is a guilty pleasure of mine.  I was hooked since watching “The Real World – San Francisco”  Pedro is still one of my favorites.  

It is quite fun to be able to people watch from the comforts of my own couch. 

Recently I watched a new series on ABC “Castaways”.  The concept is simple: 12 individuals abandoned on a string of islands in the South Pacific.  There was strewn luggage, sparse resources and some abandoned structures.  They knew there were others but unsure of how many.  They were told they would be rescued but did not know when that rescue would come. They had to learn how to survive.

Some castaways tried to survive on his/her own to preserve resources.  Others from the onset wanted to seek out others to have community while they worked to survived until rescue came.  

As the days passed most castaways quit for their own personal reasons.  The remaining ones slowly came together as one group when rescue did come for them. 

The most interesting piece to me was observing each castaway go from a Me Mentality to a We Mentality.  They each came to value not just companionship but the sense of community.  No one had to be alone.  They had each other in this shared experience.  

One could survive alone but we thrive together.  

God created us for community.  He did not want us to be alone in the good times or in the bad times.  He gave us each other so that we all can thrive together.

Sure, we can be stubborn and insist on doing things on our own.  But isn’t anything more enjoyable when you share with a friend?

When awesome things happen we want to share the great news with someone. As we trek through difficult times it is comforting to know there is someone by our side to journey through it with us.  The mundane days are fun when you laugh with a friend. 

We may not be left on a deserted island but there are times life feels a little too chaotic.  We can feel overwhelmed. If we keep our Me Mentality we may survive but most likely be exhausted through the process.  But by changing our perspective to a We Mentality each of us begin to thrive in ways we may not have thought possible. 

A We Mentality gives us others to learn from, friends to share all of life with, opportunities to thrive as individuals and therefore as a community. 

As followers of Jesus Christ our mentality changes from a Me to We Mentality. It is not just about ourselves.  It becomes about others and the whole community. We see how we each belong to and in community.  

While we all have been rescued from the bondage of sin by the life, death & resurrection of Jesus Christ we can now thrive together advancing the Kingdom of God here on Earth.

I’ll leave you with this quote from the show: 

“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”

Which is it for you? Going fast and alone OR far and together?

This Week’s Challenge 

Who is in your community?  List how you thrive together in life.  As you about your week, focus on one of those ways.  Note how it enriches not just you but the whole community.  

Is It Okay to Ask God a Question?

There is a misperception floating around that one is not able to ask God questions.  The thinking goes that true faith means that one blindly trusts God without thinking or questioning.  Almost like a robot who simply obeys without free will.

I’m here to tell you this is false.  God welcomes questions from us with open arms.  He loves them.

So have no fear to ask questions. Go for it.  Rest assured you are not alone.  Others have questions just like you.

Read through the Bible and one will find faithful man after faithful woman asking God questions and waiting for His response.

Here are just a couple of examples: 

David – Psalm 22
David is crying out to God in this psalm during a time of distress in his life.  Through the psalm he knows God is still with him and caring for him.  He doesn’t lose hope.

Habbakkuk – The whole book (Don’t worry it’s only 3 chapters long)
Habakkuk was an Old Testament prophet who sought to understanding God’s purpose in His actions towards His people.  Habakkuk may not fully understand the why but he remains resolute in giving God praise and worship.

Mary – Luke 1: 26-38
Mary is visited by an angel to learn that she is to given birth to the Promised Messiah, Jesus Christ.  She asks her question as to how it will come to be only to be reassured by the angel that it is God’s doing not her own.  Her response, faithful obedience and trust that nothing is impossible with God.

The mere act of having questions demonstrates a willingness by the believer to grow deeper in one’s relationship with God.  The person is processing what God is teaching her.  She internalizes the experience so her trust in God is strengthen by God’s doing. The questions asked are examples of faith development.

Now when I say question God I am not referring to challenging God in order to discredit Him.  I mean asking questions of clarification for the purpose of learning.  To challenge one’s presuppositions and gain a clarifying understanding of God’s love, grace and mercy.  

What areas of your walk with Jesus Christ do you have questions?

Be confident that you can bring them to God and ask away.  You will find He answers them in many and various ways: through the Bible, in conversations with fellow believers, prayer time with Him.  As God is showing you these lessons remain in community with fellow disciples so together you all can best understand what God is teaching all of you.

Remain patient.  God has His own timing in answering questions.  Some He may have you to wait to fully understand.  When He does continue to trust as the Holy Spirit leads you.  The waiting is part of the learning process.

As you go about your day feel free to ask away to God.  Then wait and see how He is answering them.  He just may surprise you.

This Week’s Challenge:

Write down 3 questions you have about faith. Go to the Bible and see how God has answers for them. You can use the search feature on Bible apps to help you find the topic in the Bible. Or try a concordance/index in your paper Bible to help you.  Note what God is teaching you in your devotional time this week. 

Cheers to a New Church Theme Song

I grew up with the show “Cheers” airing.  Sam, Woody, Carla, Norm, Cliff and Norm.  A random group of people who became friends.  They came together at the corner bar and over time became close friends.  In any other circumstances they may not even have met let alone get to know each other.  Their theme song sums it all up:

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.”

(http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/cheerslyrics.html)

A place to go and everyone knows you.  They smile when they see you.  (“NORM!!”)  Troubles are shared with one another.  Joys celebrated together.  Through the differences people see we are all the same.  You wanna go, take a break from all your worries, and hang out with friends.

Here’s a question, doesn’t that sound like the Church?  A break from our worries.  People know us.  Troubles are shared.  Joys celebrated together.  We are hanging out with friends.  Some friends we may never have gotten to know if we didn’t meet at church.  It would be so cool to see that song in church or playing for a church’s promo video.  That would be sweet!

Community developed by spending time together, sharing experiences, challenging one another to grow.  Church isn’t just what we do on Sunday mornings.  It is who we are and who we love and serve with in the world.  Our names are known.  People are glad we came.

May we be the Church that truly lives out the words of this theme song each day in all that we do and say.

Dare: Maybe suggest to your worship director about possibly singing the “Cheers” theme song one week during the service.