Thursday, April 2, 2009
Pastor's Perspective - Git'n Figgy Wit It!
As you might already know, we at FCC take pride in identifying ourselves as ‘real people’. So, living up to that title, I’m going to attempt to remove any semblance of clergy piety and share with you a pet peeve that I have, and apparently need to jettison. Ready?
I deplore finding empty containers in the refrigerator, pantry, shower or bathroom vanity….(crickets)…. Drives me crazy!....(crickets)…Crazy!… There… I said it… Boy, I thought I’d feel better.
Michelle and I continue teaching our youngest ones to throw containers in the trash when they are empty. Why? Because it’s stratospherically frustrating to get your hopes up about something, reach for it, only to find the shell and packaging - no content within! All containers in that state just take up space. In essence, with empty toothpaste tubes, empty milk jugs, empty cereal boxes, empty shampoo containers, come empty promises and dreams (yes that last line was ridiculously melodramatic and an immediate ‘emotional leave of absence’ should follow).
In Mark 11, while Jesus and his posse were moseying out of Bethany, He saw breakfast in the distance - a fig tree. Maybe, it was the same way I occasionally see a statuesque ‘Cap’n Crunch’ box across the room some mornings when I wake up. Back to Jesus! In anticipation of getting His holy grub-on (Message), He approached the leafy tree only to find…leaves…no fruit! Could that be anything like the grotesque feel of that big wonderful pirate box of pure sugar not making a sound while I shake it? Jesus cursed it! Not, the ‘Cap’n Crunch’, the fig tree – and it withered and never bore fruit again.
So, what made Jesus so angry? I mean, its only figs, right? Well to Jesus it was more than breakfast. To Him the fig tree was a very moving metaphor into the fruitlessness of the nation of Israel and its devastating future. Over hundreds of years, He had gone to great and patient lengths to fill them up and replenish them, so that they might enjoy and represent His abiding covenant love for all the surrounding nations to see and embrace - only to find them – empty.
On a more personal and reflective note, I wonder if we ever feel empty in His hand - promising product and production, but offering little. In all of His care and patience, do we offer much more to Him than the space we utilize? Does He ever feel frustrated by all the pouring into us He does, that in return yields little fruitfulness? Suppose we ever look more available and useful on the outside, than we really are on the inside? Could our focus on ultra-religious appearances, over character, be His pet peeve?
Anybody else out there need to get more figgy wit me?