Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spawn Where You Are...Leave the Travel to Expedia

I am reminded today about crazy little critters like the North American Eel or the Salmon. These things live their "real lives" in one place and then, on cue and in mass, they take off to some other place. The place to which they go is typically hundreds of miles away...maybe thousands. They go there usually at great risk...think about bears grabbing those tired fish from the streams. They also are dead tired when they get through jumping up stream literally. They leave where they normally live, risk life and limb (or fin as the case may be), become tired beyond belief...and for what? TO SPAWN!!!

I think about how stupid that is on so many levels. I mean, why risk your life just to spawn? Don't get me wrong, I like spawning as much as the next guy, but risk death? No thanks. How stupid is it that they wear themselves out...for spawning? These eels and fish must not be able to communicate in their primitive language, "honey, I'm just too tired". The thing that really sucks because of it's high degree of insanity is that this male eel and female eel are right beside each other but they both leave, both swim "upstream" if you will, both risk being killed and then if and when they arrive at their destinations they get together to spawn...something they could have done a few hundred miles ago...where they live every day anyway. And what of their young? If they live to spawn and if the eggs actually hatch and if the young critters actually make it back past the predators, down the rock walls do you know where they end up? In the same damn place their parents left months ago. Stupid? Yes! Moronic? Absolutely! Special simply for the few animals who do such stupid things? Sadly, no!

Think about another animal that thinks life has to happen in only one location. Think about an organism that leaves the emotional comfort of home and community to travel to another place so that something could happen that in all actuality could have and should have happened where they were before traveling. Can you imagine some critter that risks traveling dangers, wears themselves thin and grows oh, so tired and weary...for the sake of "life"? I would say that perhaps those who travel to do something they could do within their communities, neighborhoods, villages or otherwise aren't as stupid as it seems...maybe they are just confused. Maybe like salmon, no one ever told them that life doesn't have to happen at another place? Maybe like that poor eel, these other critters think that it is less safe to branch out into new territory than to risk everything just to do what tradition dictates?

In case you aren't following me, let me help. If you are driving out of your neighborhood of friends, driving through crazy traffic, risking life and limb by speeding (because God only shows up from 9:00am-11:30am on Sunday mornings) and attempting to get to a location where you believe life happens...well, you may be more like eels and the poor salmon than you are like those who first followed Jesus.

Some of you may be horrified and so you are asking, "what must I do? I don't want to be a christian eel or a religious salmon!". I'm glad you asked. Why not turn your minivan, SUV or sedan at a slower pace back to your home...get out of said on your children...pray together...sing songs together...tell your family of the love of God...make up songs if you want...make up some skits to act out really cool stories of scripture if you want...and here is when life (REAL LIFE) begins to multiply...invite your neighbors over and do the same. It is amazing to see what could happen if those who follow Jesus simply spawn where they already live. Leave the traveling for another day...After all, Jesus did not say "I came to give you a schedule, an order of worship and a Pastor to spew sermons in your direction". Jesus DID say, "I have come that you may have life...and abundantly so".



Brook said...

A Great big hardy AMEN at that!

Anonymous said...

i thought you were taking the salmon analogy somewhere else--like in the direction of how discipleship is a swim upstream and requires every ounce of our being, and is especially discomforting and at the least displacing (though as you argue, not necessarily involving a geographical displacement).

The irony I see is that while you don't buy in to lots of the environmental hype out there, you're doing a very green way of church. And it's green in at least three senses: environmentally (no carbon footprint), it costs no overhead which saves you and the kingdom of god some $, and it's very much a new thing on the vine.

just rambling off some thoughts at post-retreat delirium. looking forward to the morning.