It’s official. I really don’t like winter weather. When I was a kid, or even a full-time teacher, snow days were amazing. But driving in this recent spat of holiday snow has made me pretty cranky toward the whole thing. Driving to church this morning was a nightmare. We looked out our window and saw our lot fairly well cleared, and naïvely assumed the roads would be similar. I-435 was clear, at least about a lane and a half width… out of four to six lanes. State Line south to 135th was not touched at all. What a mess. As the kids say these days, epic fail.
What befuddled us, though, was not so much the lack of snow plows. It’s a Sunday, and people don’t go anywhere then. It’s right after the second of two major holidays. We get it. Take your time. What was outrageous was seeing snow plows driving along completely unplowed roads without dropping the plow blade one bit. They had better places to work on than heavily traveled major streets. Best guess? Headed for the parking lot at Target or Lowe’s, or a posh private neighborhood. Private lots were the first to get anywhere near cleared this time.
I’m starting to develop a sixth sense for correlations between those “My Life is Average” moments and spiritual or otherwise useful life applications. Ready for this? Those couldn’t-be-bothered plows reminded me of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Perfectly capable of and available to plow along the way to their destinations, these folks ignored deplorable road conditions to hurry their 4WD selves to their contracts. (I heard a story once of a seminary professor who planted a “homeless” person on the path his students would take on their way to preaching a sermon on this passage. Not one stopped to help. Every one of them failed the assignment.)
Even beyond that connection, however, I got to thinking about a more direct parallel in youth ministry. How often do we in suburban church (or mid-size town, or parachurch) settings whiz by glaring needs in our cities to make sure we provide the premier experience for our already privileged students? I am thankful for Christ Community’s partnership with Christian Fellowship Baptist. The past two years, I’ve gotten to join some incredible teens and leaders on our joint middle school mission trips. Some CFBC members sat near us at the Anthony Evans concert last month. As part of the “Greater Things” faith initiative at CCC, we as a church are planning to give a lead gift to CFBC for their own building expansion.
But Rene and I have never been to a Christian Fellowship worship service, although we’ve talked about it plenty of times. Outside of a few families connected to the mission trips, we really don’t know anybody else in our sister church. I’ve missed some awesome concert opportunities they have had on first Saturdays for many months.
All this is to say, I think we are on a good path. But there is much work to be done. If “greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city,” all of us will need to look around and see what streets are in desperate need of plowing.