30 Aug Due Season
Our family eats a lot of avocados. It’s one of those foods that we like, and we make sure it is readily available. We love Mexican food, including homemade guacamole among other dishes including that yummy fruit, which is good for you. We like them!
Last week, I needed some avocados for a huevos rancheros meal. I went to the store, and I was annoyed to realize there were no ripe avocados in the entire store. So, I researched how to age an avocado (apparently, it is a common problem). The best technique is to place the avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana or an apple. The banana emits ethylene, which ages fruit. (This is the reason bananas age quicker when they are kept in a confined space or container.)
I needed an avocado that night, so I put the avocado in a bag with a banana and sealed the top. I gave it a few hours. The problem is this technique needs two to three days. Dinnertime came, and I opened the bag, cut open the avocado, and found an UNripened fruit not suitable for dinner. I tried cutting it anyway, and I had to adjust my plans because it did not work for guacamole.
We all have to adjust our plans from time to time. Shoreline started on February 5 with every-Sunday worship; that’s our birthday. We are still very young as churches go, but that doesn’t stop us from having expectations. I want a ready-made church. I want every Sunday to be perfect, with excellent volunteers who never complain and always log on to Planning Center (a church management platform) to find out what job they will have and what Sundays they need to work, and I want a full theater. Is that so wrong?! Yes, it is.
The problem with those expectations is none of those things are realistic for us, and they are not necessarily signs of a healthy church. Volunteers get tired. We all work really hard to make Sundays go, and I happen to think our volunteers are awesome and do a great job. Much is required of them, and they deliver again and again. But, we all get tired from time to time. That is how we know we are doing what God has called us to do, because God never calls us to do grand things that are easy.
This is where we are right now in our life cycle in this infant stage of starting a new church. We are a depot for people on a journey. We are a hospital for sinners. We are an employment agency putting people to work to serve God’s Kingdom. We are working on God’s timeline and to serve God’s expectations, not our own. As it says in Psalm 104:27, “They all wait for You To give them their food in due season.” We are waiting on God’s plan to be realized…in its due season.
I can’t force it. It’s hard work. It’s going to continue to be hard work, but Jesus never said helping build God’s Kingdom was going to be easy. Jesus had to die to lay the foundation, imagine that job popping up on Planning Center as a volunteer position. We are waiting on God and His fruit to ripen. So, we serve and wait patiently…ever patiently and faithfully.
Blessings to you,