Saturday, April 2, 2011

Is it really greener?

Delanie's third grade teacher, who was previously Dillon and Dawson's third grade teacher, and who will likely be Dakota's third grade teacher lives about 60 miles from the metroplex. It's my understanding that he and his family live somewhat of a farm/ranch life. He's got some of the typical farm-type animals.

Like cows.

One day he looked out in the pasture and saw a cow sticking its head through the fence to eat the grass on the other side. You know exactly what I mean. You've used the phrase before or at very least you've heard it. If you've ever driven anywhere where there are cows you've probably seen it.

Certainly he'd seen if before but today he tried a little experiment.

The man took the cow and led it outside the pasture and to the other side of the fence. Actually led it to the exact place where it had been eating. He put the cow - head, legs, feet and all in the very spot that it was convinced was better than where it had been. The cow, realizing the good fortune, firmly planted its feet and began eating from what had to be the most delicious patch of grass in all of Texas.

Well, not exactly.

Instead, the cow firmly planted its feet at the base of the fence, stuck its head through, and began eating from the patch of grass inside the pasture. Eating from the very spot where it stood previously.

I guess the grass truly is greener on the other side - even if you haven't experienced the grass where you are.

How many times have I wondered what our church would be like if we were only more like 'that congregation' or 'the church I once visited?' It would have to be better because obviously they have a better grasp of worship or teaching or communion or fellowship or blah, blah, blah. Whatever.

Let me know if you attend a church where they've got it all figured out. Everything runs smoothly. Everyone gets along. Everyone always agrees. No feathers are ever ruffled. Rose petals spontaneously fall from the rafters because of all the love being passed between the brothers and sisters there.

I think we're all trying to do the best we can. The best we know how. At least I think that's what I'm called to do. And I can do it at church A just as easily and effectively as I can at church B. There's no need for me to peek through the blinds and wonder what it would be like to go to church over there where everything is done perfectly.

Because I can't honestly believe that place exists.

In Bible study a couple of months ago I remember we were talking about the differences between churches and denominations and about how much time and effort is spent debating (and sometimes arguing) and attempting to convince each other who is right.

(I do find it ironic how so often we will think other congregations have something figured out and that we should strive to be more like them. We go so far as to complain about the leadership or the staff or the programs of our church and yet we will defend to the bitter end that very same 'faulty' church if it's criticized by someone else.)

After that study I commented how funny it would be for all the different 'flavors' of Christianity to be standing before God fully confident they were the one group who actually got it all right. Only to have God wave his arm across the whole group and say "Congratulations, you were all approximately 60% correct."

To that Allan Stanglin proposed an alternate scenario. God waves his arm across the whole group and says "You were all approximately 10% correct. Fortunately grace and the blood of Christ will pick up the remaining 90%."

I'm convinced his prediction is more accurate. Maybe we can all go forward realizing none of us has it figured out. The grass is not greener at that church across the street or across town or across the country. We're all dealing with the same garbage that this world can throw at us.

But there is a place where the grass is greener. A place we all should long for - no matter where you attend. One day we'll all be led from this pasture to that place.

And we won't be sticking our heads back through the fence.

No comments: