Understanding the times (part 2)

I wonder what would have happened if the men from Issachar (back in 1 Chronicles 12:32) would have acted without understanding? I wonder what would have been said of them if they had simply pursued the status quo because “that is the way it has always been.” I wonder what would have happened if these men would have refused to engage the world they lived in.

I fear that too many churches function like this. They bemoan the passing of the good old days. For one reason or another, they resist change; and instead of seeking understanding, they choose to hunker down and ride out the storms that assault their ideologies.

I wonder what difference it would make if we were to occasionally and intentionally force the worlds of the young and the old to collide? On the way down to Gulf Shores, our grandchildren invited my wife and me into their world of cell phones, iPods, iPads, and Kindles. And while we were down in Alabama, I had the opportunity to invite my grandson into my world when the two of us took a day trip to Mobile to tour the USS Alabama.

This monstrous ship is 670 feet long and has three levels. At capacity, the Alabama could hold 2,750 persons. My grandson snapped over 100 pictures that he quickly sent off to his Facebook page while we walked around this WWII battleship listening to the big band music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Harry James. These were strange sights and sounds to Caleb’s 16-year-old eyes and ears, but they were very familiar to mine.

Caleb and I were all over that ship. We climbed ladders and walked decks. We saw the butcher shop, the kitchen, the bakery, and even the brig. Over a lunch of chicken wings, Caleb asked me questions and listened to my stories of the 1940s when the Alabama was commissioned. As I told him stories of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, the information-age teen entered the industrial age world of his grandfather. It was awesome!

As I reflect on that day I wonder what would happen if Christians would just take more time to listen to one another. I bet some progress could be made if each of us would seek to understand the world of someone else before we judge it as, “old fashioned” or “faddish”.

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