There is an ongoing conversation about something in which I’m not even interested. It’s making for interesting thought.
Without implicating anyone or giving away too many details let me try to set the stage.
As you know I work alongside overseas rural indigenous pastors. It is a privilege and an honour and most of the time things go amazingly well.
Within the amazing, the biggest area of disconnect comes in the conversations around church buildings.
Most everywhere I go leaders are intent on furthering their building projects and here we encounter a vast chasm between our individual priorities; indigenous pastors are building buildings and I don’t give one whit about buildings.
As it turns out we at CCI have had a major hand in helping to construct a church in a rural overseas village. This was both unplanned and unwanted.
But as all things go, there are surprises along the way and this is one of those for us.
It’s caused me to do some thinking. Not about buildings and churches or organizations or agreements per se, but about God and us.
You see, the gentleman we are alongside in this scenario is intent on reporting to me the building progress.
There are pictures coming my way.
He has been most studious to keep track of the work being done and in reporting.
What is still missing, where the disconnect still lies, is that I really couldn’t care less about this church building, but he hasn’t gotten this yet. I’ve only, in fact, begun being less angry about this ‘surprise’.
And I wonder how much we miss the heart and intention of God while we unceasingly go about good works according to our own definitions and priorities.
How often do we go to prayer to report on this or that, to download photos of this or that achievement and God really couldn’t care less.
How often are we disconnected from what he wants? How often are we simply not listening to the Spirit?
I’d wager to say: A Lot.
The basic problem with this church building scenario is that the one has not yet listened to me. Sure he has heard me speaking my priorities, ‘people hearts and minds only please’, but he has not yet really listened.
He is still filtering my words through his priorities. Thus his choices and resulting actions are still based on what he is thinking is important to me while in fact he is so far off it isn’t even funny. And yet it has become absurd.
I’ll soon be receiving pictures from him of the building progress and with all the grace I can muster will be saying, “Thanks.”
I’ve stopped trying to explain to him that church buildings are just NOT our priority at Capturing Courage Int’l (and that is an understatement).
So, what does God do with us when we just won’t hear him? Does he in his graciousness say ‘Thanks’ even though we are missing the mark by a long shot?
I suppose he does. For every kind, generous father looks to the heart and intention of his children and meets his child there, in the intentions of the heart.
At the same time (and truly, truly what I am about to say does not detract from what I just said) if we are to be co-regents of Christ within the Kingdom of God it behooves us to pay attention to the heart and intention and priorities of our King.
The pictures and progress of this church building I will not be sharing with anyone anywhere, for to do so would be to completely misrepresent and confuse many others as to the intended impact and influence of the work we do at Capturing Courage International.
How many of our offerings to God, albeit out of sincere hearts, are likewise missing the point?
We must become better listeners.