Door 2317

In Rhett’s office there is a simple door marked 2317. It is the same as every other door, which open to basic offices. But as this door swings open it becomes a trip through the CS Lewis’ wardrobe. That is if the wardrobe was regulated and handicap accessible…

***

In college I became the student pastor at a church in Lowry City. It was a small town north of Bolivar and is now home to not one, but two gas stations! The class size in the school, which was feed by multiple communities, was in the 20’s. So even my wildest dreams did not have the youth group growing – at least not at first… (Like Ivy, I have a big imagination**). Still, I had a consistent group of 15 and one weekend I decided to take them ice skating. I arrived at the church and got our fifteen passenger van ready. Megan and a couple of other college friends came along as chaperones.

Then the hour arrived and kids started showing up. Very soon we had maxed out the van and within a few minutes I was looking at group of over forty students. I started to panic, until one of the dads – who I had never seen – announced he was a school bus driver. Unlike a bigger town, he parked the school bus in front of his house every night. He offered to drive and, after he got the bus, we were on our way…. Four college students leading over forty teenagers on an hour and half bus trip with a driver we had never meet…

Of course I never batted an eye. God was providing… who cared about policy?!!!

***

Back to Rhett’s office, he lead me around the cubicles to door 2317. It was just like every other office door, but when I pushed it open there was no desk and the only chair was made of porcelain! Walking in I felt like I was covert agent – it was almost magical… at least until the first flush…

At which point, I come back to reality. A place where we are driven by regulations and safety. Rhett’s line of work requires the bathroom be hidden. In the same way, I laugh uncomfortably at my youthful foolishness in Lowry. I would never again take a trip so unprepared. Think what could have happened?! Yet, it that moment I connected with more students than I thought possible. And some continued to come back to our church… So maybe in foolish I was right – God provides and I just need to be faithful.

“You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?” – Matthew 23:17

Too often we confuse what is important. There is a place for gold, just as there is a place for safety. Still if the gold becomes our focus, we miss the sacred. In the same way, if we focus on staying safe – on being logical – we will miss the paths of God. As a church we need to be ready to head boldly into the future. Not bound by fears, but united in the knowledge that God will provide!

______________

** A Random note on Ivy and imagination… Ivy is fascinated our new hometown’s mascot, the bulldog. In the real world she would be scared of any bulldog, but in her imagination everything changes. Now the bulldog is the hero – one who wears a cape and carries a sword (forget that he has four paws). In the most recent tale, there was a gruesome monster living in a house. But inside the house there was a huge supply of candy. Ivy was quick to point out that this candy was special, because you could eat as much as you wanted and not get sick! The tale was elaborate, with people getting captured, but in the end the bulldog arrives to destroy the monster. Then the door is thrown open and all the children get to eat as much as they want…

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