Your Ox is in the Ditch

“We want to go and feel like it is an opportunity but we would have to miss church.” There have been so many times that others have approached me with a concern that relates to this one. It is tough to step out into the unknown. But there are times when the thing that needs to be done and the thing that you are called to do will require that you bold step out of the comfort zone and forgo the things that you want to (or ordinarily may) do.

One of my first personal experiences happened with a leader of the church. I was attending a Christian writers conference the weekend of one of the church’s special suppers so I had not signed up to bring a dish. He walked over and grabbed my hand. Your commitment to the church is down here and it should be up here – and he raised my hand over my head. It was hard for me not to use my hand to hit him over HIS head. But I maintained my composure. I knew where God was leading me and I was not about to be swayed by the limited vision of man.

I recently had a friend call and tell me that her husband had an opportunity to do something that he was passionate about and gifted in but it would require that they miss church. The event would put them with other Christians and would provide the family with the opportunity to celebrate and grow together. We are free from the rules and the laws for a reason. Rules and laws can and do hinder our purpose.

Sharing encouragement and growing others to pursue their passion to their purpose is something that I have a hunger and desire to do. A recent opportunity required that I miss my own bible study to be able to complete a project for that very purpose. It would be easy to fall into guilt for missing but it is important to focus on the positives of the possibilities.

There are those people that never miss church. They are there any time that the doors are open. My family has fallen into that category on more than one occasion. When those family or friends come to visit that live away, it is time to fellowship at home together instead of insisting that the normal and ordinary routine be followed. Sticking to the ordinary often means missing out on the extraordinary.

The first thought I had is how rules can hinder our walk with God. The truth is that a strict interpretation of tradition can do just as much damage to the pursuit of passion and purpose. We are each called to an individual walk. This does not mean choosing to avoid traditions and rules and regulations for the purpose of doing nothing but it does mean being flexible enough to follow your own path.

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