Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Pushing Outside

I have really been trying to figure this thing out. I drove my wrangler for two years. I loved that car. When the upstate iced over, I was the only person who could leave the neighborhood. If you see a car in the ditch, the wrangler could hook right up and pull them out. Yes I am a redneck. I would get excited when it would ice or snow so I could go look for people in ditches. My neighbor's car skidded out the driveway one time and I had to pull him back into it. How fun. Anyway. I say all that to say that Jeeps are fun cars. Take the top off, let the sun hit the back of your neck. MMMMMM.

There is another mysterious thing about driving a wrangler. It's called the "Jeep Wave." I might have written about this before. The "Jeep Wave" is something that happens when one wrangler driver passes another. It doesn't matter how long you have had one, what year it is, how dirty, or how new, you get a genuine wave. People that you actually meet in the wrangler, insist on asking you when you got yours, how you like it, etc. Motorcycles are the same way. People will wave as they are driving by on theirs. It's a very cool thing that makes you proud and you feel part of something cool.

What if the church was the same way? When you see another Christian, u have that genuine care and love for them. It doesn't matter how long they have known the Lord, it doesn't matter what church they go to, it doesn't matter how old they are. You genuinely care for them because they share a love for Christ just like you. He connects you both and you are glad to be apart of Him. It's sad that there is a more cohesive bond in driving a Jeep than there is in the church.

We did an outreach at Clemson one time and made t-shirts with a random thing on them. Everyone who was participating wore the shirts. All ministries from around the campus were in on it. Well they were green, puke green. You could spot them a mile away. When I would see a green shirt, even from a long distance, I would get excited. "Hey there is another one." Just knowing these were my brothers and sisters in Christ made me feel part of something big. Then the sad news came. As I walked around campus that week in my green shirt, I noticed that the other green shirters were not so excited about wearing the shirt or even saying "hi" for that matter. I'd try and speak to each one as they walked past me and it was like pulling teeth. Most walked straight ahead and you really had to speak loudly for them to even look at you. I thought on that. "You know, if I'm a Christian and they treat me like this, how do they treat the world?" It made me angry. Because I was not apart of their ministry, maybe they just wanted to ignore me. Childish.

I wish the church could drive around in a Jeep for a week, or maybe take a cruise on the backroad of SC. See the unity of strangers driving the same car.

One of my least favorite things about going to church is the "meet a stranger" portion. Why do we do that? Are people that shy? Do we really have to force adults to meet? Do people really sit in their seats and not speak to the people beside them? Does this happen in church?

If we are not unified in the walls of the church, we are not going to be unified in front of a lost world. We are so self-focused to even wave at a fellow believer or give a gentle "hi." Christ said that the world would know we were his disciples by the love we have for each other.

It takes a while to really chew on that.


dbass said...

dude, thats so true. i have been a jeep rider since 1991, and a driver/owner since 98. up until this past january when i sold it. the "jeep wave" is a very cool aspect of owning a jeep. (i loved my jeep and if i won the lottery i was buy it back at 5 times what i sold it for.)
its so true, i feel like i have more of a connection with a fellow jeep owner than i do with someone i pass in my church.
i also hate the "greet time" at the beginning of each service. because, you are shaking hands with the people around you that you should have already talked to anyway. anyways, keep preachin' bro. peace

Candice said...

It's true that Christian's don't always go out of their way to greet one another...but that's the great thing about the power of one person. We can be that change. Thanks for the reminder JT!

Ed said...

You blog the best analogies.

stunningman said...

Hi, my name is Lee, and I have been a "greet someone you dont know" hater for 9 years.

Other cars that have a kindred wave:

Land Rover (more so if yours looks like it has been off-road)
Old Volkswagens

I have driven or owned all 3 and the "wave" is included when you buy the car!

Laura said...

A Harley also comes with the "wave".
Justin, I do have to say that I really enjoy your blogs. Blogging with ya is one of the highlights of my weeks!