Coffee time! A few moments of solitude, and a nice cup of dark roast: a great way to start a November morning. I look outside for new signs of seasonal change, and everything still looks, and feels, like it did yesterday. But, that doesn’t mean that it is. One variable, one fluctuation in temperature, can change everything.
One variable…that’s all it takes. On the job, in relationships, at church…changing one variable can throw off everything. The thing about being human is that we get used to things being a certain way. If we wake up before sunrise, we expect to see light outside our doors, and windows at around 7 a.m. But, let the time move up, or fall back an hour, and the human body becomes more tired, we start to drag, and feel gloomy, because everything is out of whack. And, all the coffee in the world can’t fix that feeling until we become used to the time change. So, why do we think that we can change on each other, start acting differently with each other, and nobody is going to notice? On the contrary. Any changed behavior will stand out like a bear in underwear.
On the job, we get used to clocking in at a certain hour. We may take lunch at the same time every day. We may talk shop with the same people. And, it all becomes a part of the process. But, clock in, and have the people that you are used to talking to not even give you eye contact, and you watch what it does to your mind. Let your boss decide to change your schedule from first shift to third shift, without notice, and watch how things change. One variable, just one, can change a big smile on your face to a frown in a matter of seconds.
In relationships, we get used to a person talking our ears off, or spending all their spare time with us. We get used to them being home at certain times, or spending weekends doing their laundry. But, let your partner go from talking your ears off, to being quiet, for whatever reason, and the first thing you’ll ask is “What’s wrong with you?” Let them not be home at the times when you’re used to them being home, or start spending their weekends doing something that they keep secret from you, and all of sudden, without any proof whatsoever, your mind will have you convinced that they are cheating. One variable…one.
It is no different in church. We get used to going to church. We become comfortable with the way the program is set up. We go in thinking we know how everything is going to go, what songs they will most likely sing, the sound of the pastors voice, the kind hearted saints, and friends with whom we fellowship, all the same as the Sunday before. But, let Sister Velma roll her eyes at you this Sunday, and watch how you feel. Or, better yet, spend some time worshipping in the same congregation, year, after year, hearing them do the announcements about the sick, and shut in, and then fall ill yourself. If nobody from church calls you, or checks on you, to see how you are doing while you’re out, if you never hear from the pastor in your time of need, watch how quickly your opinion about that church will change. One variable.. that’s all it takes.
If, when I go to pour a second cup of coffee, I leave out the cream and the sugar, I doubt I would find that cup as enjoyable as I did the first. The question then becomes is drinking coffee without cream and sugar something that I can get used to? No. I don’t like it. It’s bitter, and it’s nasty. I don’t want to get used to that. And, it’s not about whether, or not, anybody else thinks it’s good for me, it’s about whether, or not, I feel it’s good for me. I’m used to it a certain way. So, since the variation of coffee is something that is within my control, I have it the way that I like it.
Coffee though, is the easy part. Life will never be as simple as a cup of Joe. You have to work at it. Change one variable, and you could change the entire course of your life. For some of us, it’s figuring out if we are in relationships that are worth saving. For others, it’s deciding if the jobs we have are worth all the stress they cause. And, when it comes to saving our souls, when it comes to strengthening our faith, some of us may need to ask ourselves “Am I affiliated with the right church?”
And, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with understanding yourself enough to know what it is that you need, even from the church that you attend. Now, sin is sin. So, don’t trick yourself into believing that church folks are the problem when you ain’t trying to do right in the first place. I’m saying that if you’re doing all you can to live a sin-free life, but you’re uncomfortable in your church home, it may be time for a change.
Howevever, I do recommend that you speak with your pastor first(after you’ve prayed about it, of course), because that’s the proper protocol. Understand that when it comes to your soul, and where you’ll spend eternity, changing one variable could be the determining factor in whether, or not, you get it right. And, that’s what it’s all about, getting it right, and getting to see Jesus on the other side.
One variable, one thing different, could set everything that’s wrong in your life right. One variable…just one. Think about that.
Until our next cup! Take care.