Monday, February 25, 2008


I caught myself the other day. I was driving my wife’s car. Like many two-car families around the country, my wife has the nicer, newer, better-smelling car of the family. Hers is fairly new-to-us. We bought it back in October as a long-awaited replacement for the family minivan.

I drive a full-size car from the early 1990s with over 150,000 miles, squeaky brakes, and a missing armrest, but it does have a strong heater. There has to be a saving grace.

My wife’s car has all sorts of bells and whistles and she loves it. Of course I don’t mind driving it either. There are all kinds of gadgets to play with, but the one that has captured me is the controls for the radio that are built into the steering wheel. On the right side is the all-important volume control. On the left is the channel selector and preset scan. I can thoroughly frustrate any radio listener just by letting my fingers dance along the underside of the wheel. Is the kids’ music too loud for my 46-year-old years? Tap, tap, tap. There. Am I tired of artists who make percussion sounds with their mouths? Boom.

But most of the time I’m in my car with my Sirius Satellite Radio and my manual volume controls. That’s always been good enough for me.

Then as I was tooling along in my sedan one day, there was that song I heard playing softly in the background behind the hum of the tires on wet pavement and the whistle of wind through the gap between the door frame and the window. I thought to myself that I should crank that tune up louder and relive some of the old glory days. Since I had been driving my wife’s car the day before, my right index finger instinctively began searching for the volume up button. But alas, I was piloting the 15-year-old gas hog without the magic of fingertip steering wheel control. So mentally I nixed the idea of turning up the volume and feeling 18 again and continued to listen to the song, straining to hear it through the noise of the road.

That was when I caught myself. I had actually written off doing something because I didn’t want to exert enough energy to lean over and manually twist a knob! I spent a minute or two tossing this whole event around in my mind, still seated comfortably in the drivers seat. I measured the distance between the place my finger was tapping and the knob awaiting adjustment. Nine inches. I couldn’t convince myself to lean forward and reach out my hand that extra nine inches! How spoiled had I become in my wife’s car! Am I really that lazy?

The simple answer I came to was, yes, I am that lazy. But I don’t think I’m alone in all this. I think the physics of the whole situation dictates that if a person is resting, he wants to stay resting, just as I can’t seem to pull myself out of the La-Z-Boy when I’m nice and comfortable. I believe that comfort is a strong pull on our actions.

I think this principle applies to the church as well. In many cases church members may seem to fear change. Or is it the larger issue? Is it that we are too lazy to change? Are we afraid of losing our cushy pew so we refuse to consider doing things differently?

We're going through a period in our church where we have to consider certain changes. The cosmetic changes we seem to be able to handle. We deal with more contemporary music and surface changes fine. But can we allow ourselves to be pulled off the recliner and make the real changes in our lives and in our hearts? That still remains to be seen.

Changing the window dressing is a bit stressful. Rebuilding the window is a full-blown ordeal. We have to make a real commitment. We have to actually change and not just go through the motions. When we realize what we should be doing for Christ and even what we want to be doing for Christ, will we actually put forth the effort to reach out an additional nine inches and act?

Or will we be content in our laziness, straining to hear God's voice above the noise of the world but too comfortable to act?

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