Saturday, February 9, 2013

Not-So-Deep Thoughts on a Saturday Morning

I sat down at the computer with grand thoughts of what I would write.  I have not blogged in a while, and it is time.  I am home alone this morning.  And I have been inspired by several different things.

My first thought was to write about character.  My impetus was the number of "cheats" one can find on the internet to help you win games like Words With Friends on the iPhone.  Character may be what we do in the dark or what we do when we are alone, but I am convinced that it is also what we do to win a silly game when our opponent is in another room or building or city and cannot see how we arrive at our next play.

But I did not really want to preach this morning, so that idea kind of petered out.

My next thought was to write about "Flash Mob Theology."  I was entertained and maybe even a little moved several times over the last few days by the video of the flash mob in the cafeteria at Belmont University singing "One Day More" from "Les Miserables."  Their musical theatre department is getting ready to put on the show, and as a means of advertising, I suppose, they put on this performance in the school cafeteria.  The video is not of the best quality (I suppose a cafeteria during lunch is a pretty technically challenging mixing task), but it is nonetheless inspiring in the earnestness of the students, in the reaction of the audience, and - to be sure - in the music itself.  (This song continues to be the high point - OK, one of several high points - of the stage musical.  I thought it was not nearly as moving in the movie, but others disagree with me on that, and that is not really the point of this blog.)

I think the beauty of the flash mob movement is not really the surprise factor or the "gee, other people will really like this kind of music if we do it well" shtick.  I think the real essence of the flash mob is doing something by yourself amongst an apparently unreceptive audience and finding like-minded believers who will join you in your song.  It is what we Christians discover again and again when we are just willing to start singing, literally and figuratively.

But I just don't have that much theological energy this Saturday morning.

I next thought I would write about why college kids leave the church.  I have one child in college and two more who will be there soon.  I read this very interesting blog on that subject this morning.  These are interesting thoughts, and I am sure all ten are true somewhere.  For churches like mine, however, the list gets less relevant the longer it goes. I am moved particularly by 8, 7, and 6 - we have to be teaching our kids the faith and we have to do it as a church. I hope, just because the rest of the blog doesn't appear to apply to us - because our pastor does not try to be hip and we don't quote Joel Osteen an we don't play U2 in the worship service, that we do not therefore assume the kids are all right and we don't need to change anything. I fear that churches like ours can easily compare ourselves to "those shallow contemporary mega-churches" rather than to a divine standard.

Our kids need to know the Bible better than they do.  They need to be free to ask hard questions within the church walls and have leaders who both are willing to answer and actually know how to answer.  We parents have to be willing and able to prepare our children for the world.

But again, that is getting both preachy and theologically deep, and as I said earlier, I am just not there this morning.

Instead, I sit in my pajamas at the computer with my dachshund in my lap.  She followed me up the stairs and asked as clearly as possible to be picked up.  (As I have written before, I never knew I was a dog person, but I am.) 

I have great kids and a 22-years-and-counting marriage and a satisfying job.  I write a blog that at least three of you read.  Life is good.

And that leaves me with this thought for a Saturday morning:  I do not always have to share Deep Thoughts, whether it is in teaching my Sunday School class or raising my kids or writing this blog.  If God gives me great things to say, I am happy to be the conduit, but sometimes my role is just to remind that life is good, that satisfaction is real, that gratitude is important. 

So enjoy your Saturday.  Pet your dog or hug your kids or tell your wife you love her.  Be thankful to God for giving you a mind to think Deep Thoughts and a life to enjoy.

And don't cheat at Words With Friends.