It doesn’t matter what situation in life you choose there is always the possibility you will ask, “OK, who shook the jar?” Recently Elaine shared with me a post where someone asked the question and gave this illustration. If you put red and black ants in a jar what happens? As a rule probably not much. Even in the great outdoors you may find them going in and out of each other’s mounds. They are existing in the same environment and going about their day to day routine.
You know that is exactly what I saw happening in our country over the past few years. Now there were times that things did not go well, but in the big scheme of things everything was OK. Kind of like in churches where things are doing well. Ministry is happening and people are growing and getting saved.
Certainly there are times when the issues and events of the day have an altering affect on what is happening. Something we can all understand is what has occurred over the last year with this Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has been affected by this in some way or the other. Some more than others but honestly we should all buy a t-shirt that says “I survived the last year”. Please, I am not forgetting the hundreds of thousands in our country or millions in the world who lost there life due to this insidious disease. I wish to only point out that as is always in life survival is our goal.
Let me get back to the purpose of today’s blog. People seemed to be getting along. Listen, there is always going to be disagreement, but we don’t have to become disagreeable. I have heard and said that all of my life. I believe it and I live it. I will also note that it is always somebody’s prerogative to be wrong, but I digress.
It is important to keep all of this in the context of life and how people interact. As a pastor, I have seen this happen and unfortunately in the church. Now we might want to think that should never happen, yet it does. The same is true in society however, we are more prone to accepting this in general. You know those church people should be better than that in what they do and say. Well, that is simply wrong. Church people should be better, but they are not. They are however still people. Hopefully, saved by grace in Christ Jesus our Lord, but still people. OK, for some of you, BREATH! Yes, there are people who are in churches that are not saved. There are also people in churches who are saved but don’t always act like they should. Paul told the church at Rome and us in chapter 12 verse 2
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
So what does this say about the world and the church? Well, it goes back to the question “OK, who shook the jar?” Things we’re going along fairly well in our country. Things seemed to be going along wonderfully in your church and then POW! Now I first response is to blame it on Covid-1. Don’t do it and the reason is Covid-19 was just something that happened and it may have pushed it along but it did not make it happen. Watch this and you will see what I‘m talking about.
If you put those red and black ants in a jar you will find things seem to go along fairly well. Then someone shook the jar and there is confusion and turmoil. The red ants attack the black ants and the black ants attack the red ants. Civility is lost and it is every one for themselves. Sound familiar? We see it in our country and we see it in our churches. Someone shook the jar and it caused confusion and turmoil.
In the big picture it is the devil, and we can acknowledge that truth. Yet it is also those who are used by him. They shook the jar and got everybody fighting each other. So what is the end game? Distraction, that is what it is in order to keep things from being seen for what they really are, and that is the real problem.
We cannot and should not live in such of a world. As I talk to people, I am awed by how many see what is happening and are refusing to accept it. They are saying no more. No more fighting and bickering. Life is too short to spend all of our time fighting.
A thought to ponder,