Yesterday, we got our bank statement. It was not from the bank that we normally do business with. No, this statement comes every month from a another bank. We closed our account with this bank six years ago. We moved into another house and decided to change banks as well. We still we get the monthly statements. We have received these monthly statements for the last six years.
No, we don’t have any money in this bank. In fact, our balance is -52 cents. That’s right, we are in the hole 52 cents. Yet, if you look on the statement, you will see the following:
Payment Due Date: 4/17/2006
Current Payment Due: $0.00
Past Due Amount: $0.00
TOTAL MINIMUM PAYMENT DUE $0.00
I called them six years ago and offered to bring 52 cents or write a check for 52 cents. "No, no, don’t worry about it. At least you have a credit line with us."
"I don’t need a credit line. Why don’t I just bring you 52 cents?"
"Sir, don’t worry about it. There is no payment due."
They went on to say that if I were to insist on closing out the account and rectifying the 52 cents, not only would I lose this credit line but there would be some more paperwork as well.
So, six years later, I get another bank statement. (Now some of you may be thinking that I am talking about a small, independent bank somewhere. No, I am referring to one of the largest banks in America with branches all over the nation).
Sometimes the modern church feels like this. It is like we keep doing the same things over and over until one day someone asks, "Why do we do this?" We then try to remember why we started doing this years ago. We need to ask in our churches if what we do still makes sense. Churches often have programs, ministries, and traditions that long ago wore out their usefulness. Still they remain.
In so many churches, we are very good at starting this and that and then it continues (at least in name) long after it has died. It is hard for many of to pronounce something as dead and of no more use.
Not surprisingly, this is the way many of us live every day. Many people continue to do the same thing day after day and expect different results. (I know you’ve heard this but someone said that is the definition of insanity).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live as a person who is stuck. I don’t want settle for doing what is easy and safe. I don’t want to live on automatic, not even conscious of why I am alive.
Meanwhile, I’ll get my statement every month.