Playing church


by Paula Harrington

I’ll never forget the summer night my youngest son burst into my bedroom with his Bible. It was late, but he was dressed to the nines in his suit and tie and insisted that my husband and I dress for the occasion, as well.

We were well aware of what was going on, the kids were playing church again. Those little children have all grown up and moved away, but I still think of them in our den and how much fun those nights were.

There are many of us who are still playing church. We control what songs are led, what is preached (or isn’t preached), what ministries are instituted, and sadly, the only version of the Bible we will use in our own personal understanding.

Some check in a few times a week. Others check in a few times a year. Still others check in on Sundays and then check out the rest of the week.

However, most of us know that Church isn’t what we do or where we go. Church is a family of believers trying to remain faithful in a faithless world. Struggling through pain and adversity while grasping onto the hope of a better place and a tearless day.

I don’t want to play church. I want to take the hand of another and vow to walk with them in this journey regardless of the clouds that threaten. I want to get serious about my faith in Jesus and allow him to direct my actions and, more importantly, my reactions.

I want to leave a legacy for those who will come after me. I want to follow the pattern of the Son of Man. not some plan of men. I want just enough strength to rise every time I fall.

I want to be real with others and never hide the fact that this life is hard. Even though I don’t do that well at it, I’m certain that it’s temporary. I want to take the love of Jesus to a cold, dark world and make a difference in the lives of others.

When fear tries to get the best of me, I continue forward, even if it’s slowly, wounded and limping to the feet of Jesus. I want a faith so reckless that I will be able to courageously say, “Here am I. Send me,” and refuse to let my gender, schedule, or insecurities prevent me from a mission greater than my trivial plans.

I want to change lives because he changed mine. I don’t want to waste time playing church anymore.

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