In his Letters to Marc, Henri Nouwen says, “Success has isolated a lot of people and made them lonely. It seems sometimes as though meetings between people generally happen on the way to something or someone else.”
We live in a world where we’re all on our way to something else and someone else.
Just last month I asked Judy if there was any way I could love her better. She didn’t hesitate. “Yes, Eddie. You could put up that stupid iphone. Sometimes I feel that I’d get more of your attention if I were an app on your iphone”
It’s true, isn’t it? We’re hardly ever present with the one we’re with. We’re always on our way to someone else or something else.
The message to our hearts from early on is, “Nobody really has time for me. They’re all on their way to someone else or something else more important than me.”
“Stop interrupting me, can’t you see I’m on the phone…or watching the game…or on the computer? Go in your room and play, or put on a video. Just find something to do!”
Message to child? “I’m on my way to someone or something more important than you.
Those messages just keep on coming for the rest of our lives.
And then we meet Jesus.
Who is never in a hurry, never preoccupied, never impatient.
In fact, what He wants most of all is to spend time with us.
He gathers us in communities called churches.
And what do we do?
We turn church into the busiest place on earth where everyone is on their way to something or someone else…more important, more spiritual, more significant, more worthy of my time.
Just one more place where lonely people gather wondering, “Does anyone have an app for me?”
“Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:3-5).
Question: Can you remember a time when you felt alone and isolated at church? What would you have wanted to say to your leaders?