This morning, the plans I made included setting a route for some errands I need to run. Like many a gray haired individual, making plans for one thing brings up memories of something else. My memory turned to something that occurred shortly after we arrived in Concepcion, Chile.
The main downtown area of Concepcion is laid out in a grid of ten streets by twelve streets. The flow is easy since the majority of those streets are one way streets. The ten street portion of the grid are the routes for buses in downtown with five of the ten dedicated to bus traffic. One evening we were headed home which required driving through downtown to the bridge that connected downtown to the suburb we lived in. We had a local resident with us in the car who was acting as a navigator. She had directed us to get on one the streets that the buses used. The traffic was horrible and I asked, "Can't we take a parallel street to get to Pratt (the street that accessed the bridge)?" Our navigator did not hesitate and answered "No, this is how you get to Pratt?" for the record, in addition to the street we were on, five other streets would have taken us to Pratt (the other five were one way streets away leading away from it). The reason behind her response is that she normally used the bus to get home so therefore the bus route for her was how one got to Pratt street. Since that was the way she went home each day, her mind never considered other routes to get to the bridge. That occurred twenty-four years ago and to this day, Pam and I will say "No, this is how you get to Pratt" as a way to acknowledge that we are being narrow-minded.
I think that we sometimes do the same thing with how we proceed on our journey as disciples of Christ. Sometimes we do this by insisting that there is only one version of the Bible to use (because that is all we have known); sometimes we insist that "proper" attire in church is what we have always worn to church; sometimes we insist the only appropriate worship music is what we grew up singing. Sometimes it is in how we insist a prayer need to be given. Pam was once told she prayed wrong because before getting to the topic she was praying about, she neglected to lift up a list of individuals, organizations, and causes that were supposed to precede any prayer.
In John 15:8 we are told [By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.] Sometimes we convince ourselves that the fruit of others must look like the fruit we bear for the Kingdom. We all contribute differently to God's kingdom and HIs church. Let's not be closed to the understanding that there is more than one way to bear fruit for Him.
Have a blessed Saturday