Autopilot

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

A thought occurred to me the other night as I pulled into my driveway. I left church after Middle School Youth and drove home, not an uncommon occurrence. My drive takes about 3 whole minutes, just long enough for autopilot to engage. If you include the turn into my driveway, it takes me exactly 4 turns to get home, 4. There are some nights where I just drive home, and I don’t even have to think about how to get there. Sure, synapses are firing and there is brain activity, albeit very minimal, and this particular Tuesday evening was no different. I can recall driving from my parents house in Fountain Valley to Hope International University, a distance of about 22 miles which included 4 freeways running in 2 separate directions, north and south; there were Sunday nights where I got to Hope and I don’t even remember the moves I made to get there.
So what? I think our spiritual lives mimic that sort of apathy. I don’t say that to be mean, and if you’re reading this and you’re upset, then good, but, if you’re reading this, and you can identify, let’s get to the root of the issue. God is a God of passion, of love, of meaning, of purpose (it’s not my intention to argue purpose or will). American society is one that says if it can’t keep your attention for a certain amount of time, then it isn’t worth the effort. So, sadly we expect God to entertain us; we expect Him to pursue us but that simply isn’t the case. We’re spiritually bankrupt because we expect Christianity to be easy, it’s not.
As a church, we’re bankrupt because we engage the autopilot on Sunday. Just like we have our routine Monday through Friday, we have our routine on Sunday. It may differ greatly from Monday through Friday; maybe we’re not screaming as much at our families, or maybe we scream more because we’ll be late to church. Inevitably, in our autopilot state, we’ll choose the wrong way to get to church and we get stuck behind the one person not in a hurry. I bring that up because we treat our spiritual lives much the same. We get stuck in autopilot mode and miss out on what God is doing. As sad a comparison as it is, we start to look like the church of Laodicea (Revelation 3.14-22).
The church needs to take a serious look at Jesus’ instruction in John 15. A branch cannot function apart from its source, so to, neither can the church operate apart from its source, no matter how well programmed or well tithed it might be.

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