Keep Your Eyes On The Road

…And your hands upon the wheel…

OK, that’s an old song. But I was thinking about that today when I heard about a church where attendance is down 80%, the pastors are quitting, no one agrees on much anything.

That is what happens when people, especially leaders, take their eyes off the road. The organization goes off the road–a famous NASCAR driver once said you never look at the wall, because you’ll tend to go where you look–when no one is looking toward the goal. They go off the road, hit the wall, crash, and parts fly everywhere.

That is one reason Paul, the apostle, kept warning leaders and teachers about their responsibility.

We need to be all about service. And about sharing (not telling or screaming) our faith. Our friends may come from all manner of backgrounds. There’s nothing wrong with sharing about Jesus returning alive after having been killed. People have come to Jesus from backgrounds all over the map. Sorry, they don’t have to be Baptist, Methodist, or even Catholic first. Or last. It’s only about Jesus.

And we forget that. We take our eyes off our service, humility, sharing. We let other things cloud our sight and take us off the road.

That is why disciplines are so important. We go back to the Word. We go back to friends who worship and celebrate. We ignore the extraneous stuff. We focus on the important stuff.

I had lunch with a friend this week is is close to the end of his long path to a Doctor of Sacred Theology on Mary (the mother of Jesus). In my upbringing, there wouldn’t have been enough material to write a high school essay. He’s doing a dissertation on just one argument about Mary. Holy cow! It’s stretching my mind.

He told me about the three dominant traditions about Mary among the early church leaders up through 200 AD. And about St. Jerome’s definitive essay about the time of St. Augustine (my favorite of the early fathers). It’s fascinating.

But that’s interesting to discuss, and some people may be staking their whole faith in God on their interpretation of Mary.

But we all agree on the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus–the foundation of our faith. When we keep our eyes on the road and our hands upon the wheel, we all move forward toward the goal. It’s so good.

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