Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Warehouse & The Question

My last thoughts may have seemed like I was a bit miffed, or annoyed, or that I had ingested something bad at dinner, and simply had gas. That was not the case.

The Huge Question about the lack of response of most people to the good news of the Gospel is still there, and I think that many of us Christian folk are not spending enough time thinking about it. This bugs me.

How can we know the greatest news in all the Universe, and not find new, creative, real, and meaningful ways to share it?

Today, I was reading this book by this guy. I have to admit that I bought it several months ago, with good intentions. It sat on my bedroom floor until today. Eugene Peterson tells a story that helps me with the Huge Question. Not an answer, but some help in understanding.

The Warehouse
Imagine a group of people living in a warehouse. They were born there, raised, and have everything they need there. There are no exits to the building, but there are windows. However, these windows are thick with dust, and are never cleaned, so nobody bothers to look out. Why would they? The warehouse has everything they need, and it feels safe.

But then one day, one of the children drags a step stool under one of the windows, scrapes off the window-crud, and looks out. She sees people walking on the streets; and calls to her friends to come and look. They crowd around the window; they had no idea a world existed outside of their warehouse. And then, they notice a person out in the street looking up and pointing; soon a crowd is gathered out there, looking up and talking excitedly. The kids inside the warehouse look up, but all they see is the dark roof of their warehouse.

Finally, the kids get tired of looking of watching the people outside acting weird, pointing at nothing and getting all excited about it. After all, what's with those people, stopping for no reason at all, pointing at nothing in the sky, and they talking to each other like its a big deal?

But, know what? Those people down in the street were looking up at a huge flock of geese, or a massive pile of brilliantly white thunder clouds, or a team of hang gliders doing turns in sky. Those people down there look up and see the heavens, and everything in them. The warehouse people have no heavens above them, just a warehouse roof.

But what if, one day, one of those warehouse kids cut a door in the side of the warehouse, coaxed his friends out, and discovered this immense sky above them and the grand horizons beyond? Karl Barth tells us that this is what happens when we open the Bible, and open ourselves to the Creator; we enter the totally unfamiliar world of God, a world of creation and salvation stretching endlessly above and beyond us. Warehouse life did not prepare us for this!

Adults in the warehouse scoff at the adventure tales that the kids bring back. After all, we are completely in control of this warehouse world, and in control in ways we could never be outside under the Big Sky. And, we want to keep it that way.

So, how do we tell our kid adventure stories in new ways, ways that coax others outside the warehouse?
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