Friday, November 03, 2006

People of the Chair

Sometimes us believers (certainly non-believers as well but I will ‘stay in the family’ for a minute) can wind up stalling and instead of becoming people of “the way” (as they called those Christians in the N.T. By the way, they also called them Nazarenes which would be a good name for a denomination or something) or becoming “people of the book” (a term that has been used of Christians over the centuries denoting their tenacity in sticking with the Word of God) we become what I like to call “people of the chair”. It’s probably self-explanatory but “people of the chair” do a lot of sitting. They sit and sit generally in the same spots at church… and they watch others do the adventuresome stuff… and they remember what it used to be like in the ‘old days’… and they kinda settle into their chair and into life. “People of the chair” please listen up. There’s still so much to do. You still have your whole life in front of you. Stop sitting and start moving.

‘Chair-landers’ love to live in the past. I know that life is best understand in retrospect but looking back too much is hazardous. (Think of the rearview mirror in the car… if you keep staring into it you will eventually hit something in front of you.) Now it gets tricky here because some of you look back because at best you you’ve been second-guessing yourself and at worst you have serious regrets. And you think things like, “Wow, I really messed up there, or they really missed up there and now my life will never be the same.” Then others of you tend to look back for opposite reasons… it’s not that there’s negative feelings in the past but rather positive feelings. You’re the type of ‘chairlander’ who keeps trying to recapture those great feelings and ‘fireworks’ that you once experienced. You play those experiences over and over in your mind and you think, “Wow, now those were the days! It’s never going to be like that again.”

Both groups are correct: It is never going to be the same again. For good or bad. But the reality is… it can be much better but it won’t be if you don’t get off the chair and start walking through some doors.

When you venture outside of “chair-land” you know what you find? You find “the land of doors”. Yeah, I know, sounds cool doesn’t it? You remember that old gospel songwriter, Jim Morrison? He once said, “Behind is what we know, in front of us is the unknown, and everything else is just doors.” (Hey, you know what you might enjoy? Going through the scriptures and finding all the references to the word “door”. It’s really cool. You’ve got prison “doors” being flung open, you’ve got “doors” that only Jesus can open and lock, you’ve got “doors” of the heart, “doors” being slammed shut, etc, etc. Check them out in the translation, The Message, by Eugene Peterson for even more fun.)

By the way - Here’s my current favorite passage regarding “doors”. It’s found in Romans 5:1, The Message - We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

Now that sounds awesome. That’s what you want. That’s not living in ‘chair-land’. Thank God that’s something completely different. “People of the Chair” repent from your ways, get up and move through the doors! You will not regret it.

Former president of the "People of the Chair"


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