West Franklin Family,
Quarantine sure has been interesting, hasn’t it? On the one hand, there is a whole lot of bad stuff going on. Lots of people going crazy. Like, stupid crazy. On the other hand, remarkable things have emerged. Like, miraculous. Let me give you two examples of the remarkable. Both have to do with my sons. (Go ahead, judge me if you like. But this is my letter, so I can brag on my children if I want to.)
First, Luke (my 15 year-old) changed a bike tire. He took the broken rubber tire off of a bicycle and put a new one on the empty frame. Read those last two sentences again. Just in case you don’t feel like going back – My oldest son changed a bike tire. He took the broken rubber tire off of a bicycle and put a new one on the empty frame. If you are sitting there thinking, “that’s no big deal,” let me remind you who is writing this letter. The one writing this letter is Luke’s dad. The one writing this letter has ZERO, and I mean Z-E-R-O handyman skills. That’s probably being too generous. The one writing this letter has handyman skills that dip into the negative. I have a hard time putting gas in the car. Sometimes I can’t figure out how to unlock the door. There may or may not have been a time when I could not turn on the radio. I am NOT a “Mr. Fix It.” To give you some additional perspective, my plan was to buy a new bicycle rather than worrying about repairing a tire (Because, when you are me, you pay someone to fix a tire. By the time you pay someone to fix a tire, you could have a new one that probably wouldn’t cost a whole lot more.).
Are you starting to see why this is so remarkable? Matt Pearson has a son who changed out a bike tire. I believe in miracles.
Second, Seth (my 13 year-old) spooled his own fishing rod. He bought 15 lb line at the fishing store and spooled his own bait caster. Read those last two sentences again. Just in case you’re tired and don’t feel like going back – My middle child spooled his own fishing rod. Seth purchased 15 lb line and spooled his own bait caster. Again, if you are thinking, “that’s no big deal,” go back and read the previous paragraph. I don’t fix things. I don’t do repairs. Not because I don’t want to be able to do them. I just can’t. I’ve tried. God made people to be able to fix things. Matt Pearson can’t. But Seth spooled his own fishing rod. Our “mega-manly next door neighbor” who fishes all the time couldn’t do it for him (Seth asked him first because he knew his “not-so-mega-manly dad” couldn’t). Even our fisherman neighbor up the street couldn’t do it. But Seth did.
I told you! Remarkable.
Now, consider this. . .
Why? Why did they do this? Why did they do whatever it took to figure out how to do these things?
No one taught them prior to this. They had not seen it happen in or around the house. They didn’t know people who did these things or hang out with “spoolers.” So why did they do this?
What I didn’t tell you was that Luke didn’t fix his own bike. The bike he repaired was Seth’s. Seth had the broken tire. I didn’t ask Luke to fix Seth’s bike. I didn’t ask Seth to fix is own bike. Luke did it. He did it without being asked and he did it by figuring it out. Why? Because he was tired of Seth “borrowing” his bike. He wanted Seth to ride his own bike so bad that he did whatever he had to do to figure out a way for Seth’s bike to be fixed.
You know why Seth did the hard work of learning how, then actually spooling his own line? Because he is going to the lake this weekend. He didn’t have time to get his messed up bait caster to Academy Sports where they spool for free. He knew that if he was going to use his favorite rod, he was going to have to figure it out for himself. So he did. He wanted to fish so bad with that rod that he did whatever he had to do to figure out a way to spool it correctly.
When there is something out there that we really, really want – we tend to do whatever it takes to figure it out. It’s how we’re wired. We figure out a way.
Come to think of it, one of our very own – Mike Washington – is currently biking across the U.S.A. for a cause his late wife was passionate about. He is doing whatever it takes to honor her and be a voice for the unborn.
Similarly, I recently received a text from another member who joined forces with other moms in her neighborhood to have a Vacation Bible School in their backyard. Why? Because one of the mom’s refused to not be able to offer a VBS for children she knew and loved. (By the way – it is a good rule of thumb not to ever, EVER, get in the way of a group of women who are determined to do something. Remember that.) So she figured out a way to do VBS in this COVID-19 world we are in.
We figure out a way. We do whatever it takes.
Luke was sick of Seth riding his bike. He put a new tire on Seth’s bike. The end goal wasn’t learning a new skill. It was getting Seth off of his bike!
Seth didn’t want to go to Lake Martin without his bait caster. He spooled it . . . because it was the only way. The end goal wasn’t learning to spool. It was being able to fish with that rod!
Why do I tell you this?
What does this have to do with you? With West Franklin?
Think about it. What if we started doing whatever it takes to help Franklin see, hear, understand, believe, and be changed by the Gospel of Jesus? What would our church look like if we wanted that so badly that we would do anything to make it happen? What if every single member figured out a way to make disciples of Jesus in and around their own lives?
What would our baptistery look like?
What would change about your daily/nightly routine?
What would your group start giving itself to?
What if we began to adjust our norms, not for the sake of change, but because we were overcome with a longing to see others experience and be changed by the love of Jesus?
I dare you to pray something with me. Actually, I double-dog dare you to pray it. Would you pray that the Father would put a passion to make disciples of Jesus in you the way Luke was passionate about getting Seth off his bike? Would you pray for the Spirit of God to give you the same longing for others to experience Jesus that he gave Seth to fish with his bait caster? I’m serious. I mean that. When the end goal is something you are overcome with, you will do whatever it takes to see it happen.
Who knows? You might just see your pastor learn how to use a hammer and. . . well, let’s not take this too far (grin).
Longing to see the remarkable with you,