I know number two and three kinda ruined the first one; but for a minute pretend like the original Matrix movie was the only one made. Do you remember that scene when Neo first wakes up on the table after taking the blue pill? It is the scene in which he realizes that he has been sleeping through reality, that he was missing what was really going on. He looks confused, dazed, and disoriented. Morpheus stands above him for a moment, smiles, and says, “Welcome to the real world.”
A good friend sent me a text message that made me think about that scene over and over last night. My friend simply wrote:
2 weeks into not going to church. 1st observation: I’ve taken responsiblity for the spiritual leadership of my family. So sad i didn’t realize I wasn’t before.
I didn’t realize what a huge crutch my church programs were until we stepped away from them. Until I stop listening to sermons Sunday, after Sunday, after Sunday and stoped going to tons Bible studies each week, I didn’t understand my need to be connecting with God constantly on my own. Until I got my kids out of Sunday School I don’t feel the need to disciple my children. Until I got out of the church world and into a world of people that desperately needed Jesus’ love I didn’t fully appreciate the power of prayer.
Now some of you don’t have the same problem I did. You participate in the church world, love it, and understand all the things the institution of church fogged up for me. Awesome. More power to you.
But there are others of you out there who know you are supposed to be discipling your own kids in the back of your mind…but you don’t really think about it because you take them to church programs all the time and you think that is enough. There are those of you out there who know you are suppose to have an intimate personal relationship with God but don’t really pursue it outside of listening to others teach. There are those of you out there that have a nagging voice in the back of your mind saying, “There has to be something more than this routine.” You are the ones that need to unplug for a little while and wake up to reality.
Stay in community. Find a group of believers that are going to hold you accountable and tell them what you are doing. But then go off the church institution grid for a bit and look intensely at your life. What is your relationship with Jesus really like?
This is very different from simply sleeping in on Sunday.
A quick warning – once you take the blue pill, once you start to see the institution of church differently…you can’t go back to seeing it how you did before.
I used to joke with my friend Laura that there was a revolution coming…a Jesus revolution coming. I believe it has begun; but not with trumpets and fan fare. It’s started how the Spirit always starts things – quietly, one individual at a time. Then suddenly we all look up and realize something amazing has been going on.