Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cruise Ship or Battle Ship?

Sounds like game night, huh?

Well, when I heard our pastor's wife use this phrase in our new members class, it spoke right to me. So much so, that I had to jot it down so I could share it, and expand on it, later. See, she was talking about most people's view of church. But on further reflection, I think it also reflects attitudes towards God as well.

Think about it. On a cruise ship, you're catered to and coddled. It's all about your fun and pleasure. You participate when and how you want, or not at all if you want. You don't have any responsibilities but to show up and have a good time. You can even get off at any port of call and not return if you want.

A battleship, on the other hand, is a different story altogether. You sign up for that, you're in for the long haul. You're part of a team, with heavy responsibility and accountability. Your actions affect not only you, but thousands/millions of other people not even on the battleship, but rather, thousands of miles away on shore. You can't leave b/c you don't like it, or b/c it's too hard, or not fun, or thankless, or even dangerous.

Think about it. People want church to be easy and fun and carefree. No responsiblities, just show up and get the rewards, leaving well before cleanup or the hard part begins. Once the call for workers, volunteers, and money begins, they're outta there. If it's not another 'country club' they aren't interested. Statistics show that around 10% of church members do over 80% of the work involved

And so it is too, with God. If service and devotion to Him isn't fun and easy, with immediate rewards, don't we tend to give up, move on, and choose something more 'entertaining' and 'gratifying'? People are all about the immediate gratification, and our culture feeds this to an extreme. We hear 'if it feels good, do it', 'why waste time/life on something with no visible payback?' and 'look out for number one first'.

These attitides might get you instant satisfaction, but they do nothing for your soul, which is eternal. The fact is, we are not put on this earth for a good time, to enjoy ourselves to gluttony, and to get all the riches and 'stuff' and fun that we can. It's not about US at all. We are put here to glorify God and to serve Him. To minister to others and bring them to Christ and His salvation. Anything less is wasting time.

This is not to say that we can't have fun or enjoy ourselves. Christ Himself said, "I come to give life, and that more abundantly", John 10:10. He wants us to have all the good, eternally lasting things in life. But true satisfaction comes in service and giving. It is a satisfaction that doesn't fade, and that changes us for the better.

Let's face it. Christianity is HARD. Temptation is everywhere. So which ship are you sailing on? And what is your destination???
 
 

4 comments:

  1. What a great post and oh so every true! I notice you like to collect cookbooks. What kinds do you like?

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  2. Hi, Regina!

    Thanks for your comment.

    Currently, I have a Pilot Club set that belonged to my husbands step-grandmother from the 60's (it separate appetizer, dessert, meat, salad, and soup books), several from Taste of Home, a few on camping/foil cooking, and one on 101 things to do w/Ramen Noodles, lol. I also have several local garden club and church cookbooks.

    I recently did a purge, though, of the ones I don't use at all. This means I'm on the hunt for more to replace them, lol. I really like unusual and old cookbooks (hence the ramen noodle one).

    Tell me about yourself!

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    1. My husband and I have three daughters 17, 15 and 11. We attend a Baptist church but my convictions are Anabaptist(Conservative Mennonite. My profile gives a little more about me. One thing I have a heart for is praying for certain celebrities. Sometimes God will put a particular person on my heart to pray for and it is usually someone who is struggling big time.

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    2. What a neat calling, to pray for celebrities!
      And how fun, having a house full of girls.

      Look forward to your next post!

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