I think I’ve mentioned before that our church isn’t especially traditional in its methods of delivering God’s Word. Grounded in truth? Absolutely! I love that our pastor never minces words about the truth of the Bible.
But, traditional in style? Not so much. So, this past Sunday, we had one of the “worship experiences” that we do two or three times a year. These always make me uncomfortable (at the idea, never during) because they mean that we’re going to leave the worship center, go into the “warehouse” and go through several stations designed to offer the opportunity to worship God in a different way.
Now, lest you think that we’re too far off our rockers, these stations usually involve things like: reflecting on some aspect of God’s character and what He’s done in your life and writing out a message to Him or getting out of your own little bubble of selfishness and realizing how wealthy we, as Americans, are as a people and thinking about how we might serve others. Nothing crazy.
I’m always amazed at how powerful the experience is and this past Sunday was no exception.
The first station that the kids and I went to featured these sloped mazes (think “Plinko”) a container of marbles and buckets of paint.
You were supposed to take the marble, dip it in paint, and release it down the maze. Then, you were to pick the marble up out of the water trough at the end, wipe it off, and go to this table in the center and read the paper there.
I released my marble and it went through the little maze just fine. Megan’s and Josh’s marble got stuck a couple times and we had to give them a boost. Oops, I thought. This isn’t working quit right.
It was, though. Here’s what the paper read:
“As you hold the marble, look back at the table it just traveled through. No two paths are exactly the same. You could start at the exact same spot every time and end up at a different place on the table. Sometimes the marble gets stuck and you have to make sure it keeps moving. Your path will always cross the path another marble took. There will be no isolated paths.
In the same way, our lives are interactions with everyone around us. Our paths are not all the same, but our destination is: Jesus. Some people have grown up hearing about Jesus their whole lives. Some people discovered Him later in their lives, but He is pursuing each of of us to restore the relationship we broke through sin. Some people seem to get stuck and need help moving past whatever obstacle has stalled them out.
The question is, what are you doing with the interaction you have with other people on their paths? Are you trying to “get by” with minimal resistance and accountability? Just like Paul poured into Timothy as a mentor, who are you pouring your life into? Who are you allowing to train you up?
We were to keep the marble as a reminder that:
Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
The paper finished by saying:
Just like you cleaned off the marble, Christ has restored you to a blameless, clear state in His eyes. Who are you sharing the freeing relationship with? Who are you purposefully interacting with for the sake of showing them Jesus?
See? Good stuff. Powerful stuff.
Who are you pouring into? Who are you allowing to pour into you? There is always someone a little “behind” us in their walk with Christ who could use someone to mentor them. There is also always someone “ahead” of us whose guidance we could use.
My answer to the question of who I’m pouring into has always been my kids – well, since I’ve had children – but I think that’s a bit of a cop-out. I mean, I think it’s a given that I should pour, spiritually, into my children, but I bet God has someone else in mind in whom He’d like to see me investing.
And, I certainly hope that He has someone in mind whom He’d like to see investing in me. Quite honestly, I’m falling down in both of those relationships right now. I’m very guilty of trying to get by with minimal resistance…and, if I’m honest, minimal accountability.
Will you pray about who God would have you to pour into…or whom you’d allow to pour into you?