This week I had the chance to attend a conference. I use the word attend loosely because as you know well, no one really attends much of anything these days, at least not like we used to. Our attendance is relegated to at best seeing faces on our computer or phone screens. But nonetheless, I attended this conference in this very manner. So over the next couple of weeks I’m going to share a little of what I gained from that conference infused with my own thoughts and practices.
One of the main points of the conference is that we can do better. And if I push that phrase a little further, we must do better. No growth brings stagnation, and stagnation is an awful thing.
While on a walk with my wife recently, we passed by a house that had just gotten new sod. With temperatures in the 90s for so long it’s not easy to keep grass green and even harder to get sod to take hold.
They had sprinklers going all over their yard, and puddles were starting to form in a small low spot near the edge of their property. The water was stagnant and muddy and murky which it got me thinking…that is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. And I am not a fan of mosquitos.
Mosquitos like to lay their eggs in stagnant pools of water not ones that are moving and seemingly alive. Stagnant water is also a haven for bacteria and other nasty things to grow.
But it’s not just water that can become home to some gross crud when it stops moving and growing. We are the same way. When we stop all of our normal life activities and merely huddle at home and meet no one and stop connecting with friends and loved ones, we too grow stagnant. We start to grow an unhealthy attitude and see people differently.
When our churches stop meeting together, they too can grow stagnant. Now don’t read too much into that meet together phrase. It’s not just about meeting in person. It’s about being truly present when we are together (even virtually). One of my pet peeves is zoom meetings. I love the technology but people are so prone to distractions that rarely do we have someone’s undivided attention on a call like this. So whether in person or virtually, we can always do better!
If we don’t do better, we’ll grow bitter.
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The longer we just sit in one place and do little to nothing new, the more stagnant and even bitter we become.
So what is God calling you to do better?
Where can you make small changes that will make massive differences?
The book of James uses the imagery of a ship’s rudder and how a small movement of a small device like a rudder can alter the direction of an entire ship. What are the small rudder moments in your life?
How can your marriage be better? How can you be a better parent? How can you as a leader do better? What does the church you attend or lead need to do to make a difference in the lives of those around you?
When we’re honest about the stagnation in our own lives we’ll be better poised to make moves to live differently and be better.
What’s one thing you need to do better at today?
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