Modern life is lived in boxes. We live in a box, called a home, or an apartment. We get into boxes with wheels on them (Have you ever seen a Honda Element? I rest my case!) to go to boxes where we work. They are even called, cubicles.

If we go to church, it is another box. This box is made out of sturdier stuff than the others. When you in, you’re in, and when you’re out, you know you’re out.

That’s exactly why so many people like it. It offers them a respite from the other boxes. It is place to have your beliefs affirmed so you can withstand the doubts, questions, and ridicule you might encounter in the rest of life.

The church box is special. It’s sacred. Everything else is secular.

I remember hearing Bill Hybels say, “The church is the most important thing in the world.” It is sacred, holy, set apart, God’s means for carrying out his mission on earth. It is the community of people on mission for him.

I certainly regarded it as such. Being a religious professional (pastor,) it came natural for me. I structured my life so that my church and religious activities where the top priority. Family life, relationships outside of church, and the regular necessities of life were all secondary to my prioritized religious responsibilities.

I feel like a jerk as I write these words, and I probably was a jerk. Not unlike the young drummer in the movie, Whiplash who terminated his relationship with his girlfriend, and became an arrogant asshole to his family, so he could become one of the greats, someone whose life “really mattered.”

It all fit me like a glove. It fed my ego. It made my life simpler. I reasoned, I am forfeiting doing some lesser things, because I am doing something of crucial importance.

Preaching, teaching, studying the Bible, counseling, leading groups, and building a church leadership team, those were the truly important things to me. But as I was trying to make God known to people and make the Gospel understandable, I ignored the wonderful, natural opportunities in my everyday life. I was fixated on what I deemed to be the sacred, spiritual things in life.

But, what if the ordinary times, the ordinary people, and the ordinary tasks of life are sacred?


Image Credit: kunal.vicky. Creative Commons.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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