Several of the last few nights have found me up pacing the floor because of Restless Leg Syndrome. I suffer from it to quite a severe degree--to the point of wearing holes in the sheets on our bed. I take medication to control it, but it doesn't always work. One night I was up until 4 a.m. and another up until 2 a.m. Unfortunately, I still wake up about the same time--between 6:30 and 7:00. So the sleep hours during the last several days have really been on the short side!
Today, I had to drive about an hour and a half to do a Southern Living At Home party. The drive there wasn't too bad. I was going over how I was going to set up my display, and mentally rehearsing the things I wanted to say.
However, the trip home was quite a challenge. I had something cold to drink and I had my pumpkin seeds--my usual arsenal of things to keep me awake while I drive. I even had the radio on listening to a public radio program which was rather entertaining. But, still, I was really struggling to stay awake. All of a sudden, I heard the rumble strips under the tires of the van. I had nodded off to sleep! Scary!! What if I had veered the other way instead of off to the shoulder?!? I know God must have had His hand on the steering wheel!
I found a place to pull off and walked around for a bit, before continuing on home. Oh, My! That was NOT a fun experience.
As I continued on home, I was thinking about how the church seems to be in a similar situation. We are content to do the same old "two songs and a prayer" and heaven forbid if someone tries to do something a little new. So we sit in same old pews, sing the same old songs, at the same old slow pace, with the same people playing the same roles, blah, blah, blah, blah....and because of complacency and following the same old traditions that have become sacred cows, we grow sleepy and nod off. (Now for me, unfortunately, this is true not only figuratively, but in reality as well. The RLS cycle keeps me from getting enough sleep, makes me really drowsy during the day, and the more tired I am the worse the RLS gets, and I lose even more sleep and so on...)
It is the newer roads that have the rumble strips. Some smart person decided that was a great way to wake some one up who had nodded off and veered off the road. For people like me, they need to go back and install them on all the old roads as well.
I believe the church needs rumble strips. We seem to have gotten so comfortable in our car (or in our box) that we are in danger of falling asleep. We want things to be just like they always have been. Sort of the "If it works, don't fix it" mentality. Unfortunately, "it" doesn't seem to be working any more. I fear that we are veering off and in danger of a head on collision. If the church is not growing, it is dying. We need to wake up, kill some sacred cows, and let the church continue to grow into the embodiment of Christ that it was designed to be.
Thank you, Father, for rumble strips. Please continue to guide me. Wake me up! Make me more like Christ!