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This past Saturday evening, a line of hefty thunderstorms blew through our area. In the midst of what’s been a very dry summer, we are thankful for the rains. But the lightning is a less welcome guest…especially when you consider that, for the second time this summer, a huge power surge came roaring through our phone lines, frying nearly everything in its path. Even the filter which we had cleverly installed after the last incident was no help. In fact, it was literally blown into a pile of carbon-coated pieces. The result is that, since Saturday evening, we’ve had no phones, no fire alarm system, and only limited internet access. Now, really…how are you supposed to do ministry in this day and age without phones, fire alarms, and the world wide web?

I know. It’s a first-world problem. Phone system problems never stopped Jesus from doing ministry. But I have spent the better part of this Monday morning talking to and working with the technicians who know how to fix this stuff, negotiating repair timelines, and keeping our Property Board folks in the loop, and wondering about how we absorb the cost of these repairs for the second time in seven weeks. The result? The alarm system isn’t the only thing that’s fried. I am a bit frazzled, too.

It’s not that I’m complaining. OK…maybe I am complaining a little bit. But really…it’s more that I’m wondering how we keep from getting bogged down in the management of places and institutions so that our energies can be focused more keenly on being Christian and doing God’s work in this place.

And then it hits me: there is absolutely no reason why these little (and not so little) hiccups have to stand in the way of my doing what I’m created and called to do. The fact of the matter is that, even if all systems were functioning perfectly this morning, I would still have found ways to waste time and not live up to God’s expectations for my life. Sure, the phone lines are messed up. But the deeper mess is within me…in my inability to take each day, with its challenges and possibilities, on its own terms. The real issue is my inability to trust that God can work around our broken gadgets and sagging spirits to get done what really needs done.

Yes…the phones still need to get fixed. But repairing our stuff and our structures is not in and of itself the challenge before us. Lightning bolts will strike without regard for the holiness of our mission or the burdensome size of our insurance deductible. But we need not be fried as a consequence. Remembering and acting upon the great privilege of living in God’s grace, no matter what each day brings: that’s the real issue.

Gotta go. It’s time to let the repair guy into the alarm system panel…and time to let the Spirit more fully into me.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Ryan Moeller permalink
    6August2012 13:37

    Nice. Well put.

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