Friday, May 11, 2012

What Does It Look Like I'm Doing?

retro rocket
The other night my family was at my daughter's elementary school track meet. We're trying to hold off calling her 'the Red Rocket' until she proves worthy of the title, but she's pretty fast. And even though watching little children run and jump while braving the windy spring-like Indiana weather is not my top choice of evening activities, it's fun to see my 10-year old compete.

But before she gets a chance to run, they do the field events. Watching these elementary kids do the high jump, my 8-year old son asks why they're trying to knock down the pole. When I stop laughing, I explain to my son that they are not trying to knock down the pole. They are trying to jump over it.

It did make me wonder what other things appear to have a different purpose than the one we think we're trying to achieve. I have seen the trend where well-meaning people talk about leaving the church in order to find Jesus. While I understand that painful circumstances are sometimes caused by the very group of people supposedly all about love, this trend makes no sense to me.

The purpose of the Church is love God and love man. Granted, the Church as a whole has messed this up and we will likely continue to mess it up. But that does not mean we should leave the Church to fulfill this purpose outside these walls. (Please notice I'm using Church with a capital-C. I care not about the buildings except for how they can help us meet our goal.)

I believe we are too quick to change the definitions of words when those words appear to have lost their meaning because of how people perceive those words. Take 'Christian' for example. People are talking about leaving Christianity to find Jesus, all the while ignoring the fact that 'Christian' means little Christ.

Leaving an organization because you don't think they are doing a good job meeting their goal may make sense in a business where the company wants to go in a different direction. But in the Church, where the mission hasn't changed for 2,000 years, leaving only hurts the Cause, for all parties involved. And it makes all of us look like we're trying to knock the pole down instead of jump over it.

What words do you see being redefined? What activities appear to have the opposite of the intended purpose?

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