This morning I followed another guy into the gym. By "followed" I don't mean stalked, I was just behind him. When I'm in the weight room I usually try to look for opportunities to meet new people and strike up conversation, while at the same time trying to work out hard and not distract anyone else from doing the same. I also try not to be nosey. I bring this up because there are people at the gym that I would describe as nosey - in everybody's business. But I couldn't help notice that this guy - the one I followed into the gym - wasn't really doing anything. He strutted around quite a bit - looked pretty good in his AC/DC t-shirt - but didn't really do anything in an hour to even break a sweat. Again, I don't mean to be "nosey", but what's the point? Then as I was leaving the gym I saw another guy coming in (who I see fairly regularly) who has an interesting ritual before entering - he finishes his cigarette. Make sure you hear me: I am not judging or condemning the 2 gentlemen (vague but gracious character inference), but their actions this morning leave me a little dumbfounded. I simply have to ask the question, "What's the point?"
The reason I bring this up is because I'm often left wondering this same thing on Sunday mornings. And to clarify, yes there are people who come into The Brook 1) and don't really DO anything, and even some who enter 2) after finishing their cigarette. It happens! But what I'm talking about is the perplexing habit, decision, or painful reality that many people show up on Sunday mornings without their Bible. Again - forgive me for asking - but "What's the point?"
I know, I know, I sound like your Momma - nagging and pestering you. But if that's the case, my thought is that maybe you should've listened to your Momma a little more! I remember my first semester of Seminary, my Theology professor Dr. Garrett (James Leo Garrett, if you're interested) explained to us that our textbook - his first published work - was a compilation of his years of notes. Dr. Garrett was easily into his 70's and a very well-known theologian. This book (Volume 1 of 2, I might add) was just shy of thesaurus thickness. And he shared with us that all we would really need each day for class was our textbook, a pen, and highlighter. The book WAS the notes. Verbatim! If you came to class without your book you might as well have stamped "IRRESPONSIBLE DOOFUS" on your forehead. And as compassionate and loving as this grandfatherly man was, I'm afraid it would have been all that he could do to restrain himself from asking you, "My dear friend...what's the point?"
I understand that some walk onto a campus for the first time to investigate: "Who are these people? What's this whole church thing about?" Those people showing up without a Bible makes sense. You don't expect a lost puppy to show up at your door with a steak in his mouth. He's hungry...thirsty...looking for someone to throw him a bone. Or a steak for that matter! But how is that a "Christ-follower" can wake up, prepare themselves to go and commune and fellowship with their church family and dig into the Word of God, and then leave their Bible collecting dust on their nightstand? What's the point?
The point is this: It's a direct reflection of the priority that the Word has had in a person's life throughout the week. It exposes the sad, frustrating reality that many who call themselves Christ-followers are not really following Him much at all. Please note - I'm aware that some days a person walks out in a hurry and leaves their Bible sitting on the kitchen counter. You can tell who those people are. They sit through the service and the sermon feeling like they left their pants at home. I'm not talking about that person. I'm referring to the crowd who, week after week, walk in like a football player showing up for spring training without his helmet, shoulder pads, or playbook. [I witnessed this happen once. After the coach chewed the guys backside off and spit it out, I don't remember him ever returning to the team.]
My words are not judgment or condemnation. They are me simply wanting to ask you - because I love you - "What's the point?" If this angers or frustrates you, talk to the Holy Spirit about it. Get mad at me if you want to. I don't care! But when you come to put your finger in my face and tell me what a jerk I am, make sure you have your Bible with you. I'll have mine.