I was never a good enough child engineer to do much with legos, the plastic, multi-colored building blocks that my friends seemed to be able to create things like a nuclear reactor, or the first hybrid car. I could build towers and the simplest of houses, and occasionally something that could roll, if I followed the instructions. I was so impressed when I went into this one kid’s room and there was a large table full of the small legos and above it a big magnifying glass on a swivel arm. That kid was serious. I think he’s at MIT now, or at least should be.
But a simple lego presents one of the most important lessons about spiritual life that one can learn. A healthy spiritual life will never look like a single, disconnected, and, thus, empty lego, nor a lego so attached and full that it has no empty spaces left for another lego. (If I had learned how to add images to this blog I would illustrate, but hopefully you get the picture.)
A Jesus-lego always has some other legos attached, but still room for another. It’s never full, nor empty. That is, if you imagine that legos are people, including yourself.
It’s pretty obvious that Jesus connects people. What’s not so obvious is that he is always doing it, always expanding the circle of our relationships. Think about how the circle or relationships kept expanding once Jesus called Peter and Andrew to be his disciples. He immediately called James and John. It was always expanding, even though it may seem to have stopped with the twelve, don’t forget the crowd of 70/2 that he sent out. Don’t forget the group of women who financially supported his activities. Don’t forget his BFF’s, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.
This ever-expanding circle went quantum when the church was flooded with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit flooded the church with people.
Well, here’s the So What. We better have an obsession to include and connect others – meaning we had better always have space on our lego. This obsession translates to any group or organization that involves people. If you attend church it should radically change the reason you attend – taking away the self-absorbed, “I attend for my needs,” fixation to, “Who can I include and connect?” Can you imagine being motivated each Sunday with, “I’ve got to get to church to see who’s there!” (Apply that to anything you attend, or could attend.)
Where are you doing that? How deliberate and conscious are you of your opportunity to do that?
Recently, I heard some long-time church members say of their current experience, “When I went last Sunday I hung around looking for someone I knew, but didn’t see anyone.” I thought, “Gee, would that be the case if they had been focused on including and connecting others?” They had built their church legoland with just a few legos, no extra space, and now with those loegos gone, their lego was empty – in a crowd of people, no less. (Okay, I know that the trend is to go to a church so big that you would not expect to see anyone you knew at a service, but, give me a break – I bet you sit in the same place usually, surrounded by many of the same people. How about meeting some of them?)
In the next few weeks, with the fall activities starting up, chances are you will have plenty of opportunities to include and connect – if you want to.
Some of the most important people in your life are waiting to be met – by you.