Sorry I missed last week. No excuse just missed it. Might be the weather in Minnesota. Kind of a bummer. It’s like we have become the state of one season: wet, dreary, and cold. I still have hope.
It makes me think of my approach to each day’s challenges lately. I will confess I don’t think I have been taking on my days very well lately. I have found myself feeling like I’m on defense a lot and not moving forward. It’s not an inspiring way to wake up.
It’s not a great feeling to go places thinking a battle could come towards me, what the environment will be and, in a some of cases, what are people thinking of me.
Is there any thing worse than wondering if the whispers are about you and are they good?
Fear creeps in and then crud…defeat.
I love sports. Watching, playing, teaching, but especially coaching. I think it’s a lot being a pastor. You are given a group of people to teach skills, teach plays, inspire, hold accountable, send out, tend to injuries, send back out, make in-game adjustments, cheer on, make substitutes, and all along try to equip them for something bigger than themselves.
Maybe it’s too simple of an analogy but for our conversation, it’s workable.
When I coach my girls’ team, I often speak about trying to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer.
The thermostat sets the temperature while a thermometer reflects the temperature.
As a player, you want your team to set the pace, tempo, flow, attitude of the game. You, of course, make some adjustments, but you really want to stick to your game plan.
If your opponent gets frustrated or takes cheap shots, you don’t want your team to do the same. You don’t want your team to respond negatively to refrees’ calls that don’t go your way.
Doing that you become thermometers because you are letting the other team influence how you play and what you do. A player who is a thermostat is not changed by her opponent. You stay to the course you have chosen.
Teams that stay thermostats get better, win more games, and walk away feeling they did their best.
Jesus says we are the light of the world! Not the mirrors of the world. Light changes how a room feels, what it looks like. A mirror just redirects whatever light there might be. If any light leaves, so does the purpose of the mirror.
What if we focus on being a thermostat rather than a thermometer?
That means when you get up in the morning you set the climate for your children rather than reflecting what they are like.
If your friends are crabby and gossiping, then you change that temp by getting their eyes focused on something else and not fueling the gossip with your own to be part of the group.
When you arrive at worship on Sunday, you become a worshipper rather than waiting to see if it’s your favorite songs or favorite pastor giving the sermon.
Didn’t Jesus say go into the world but not be of it? Thermostat or Thermometer?
Is it easy? Nope!
Does it always change? Not right away but I believe it will even if it takes a longer than you want.
Why? Because the Kingdom of God doesn’t lose.
The Holy Spirit who lives in us will not lose. If the Holy Spirit flows from us, it will do whatever it wants and it WILL be good! Because God is good!
It’s not about manipulation or being in control of people. It’s about living in the Kingdom of God which is all love, grace, truth, joy, acceptance, healing, and sanctuary. It’s about being Jesus to those who have forgotten or don’t even believe He is in the room.
You are that thermostat!
It’s not a calling because callings separate us into groups where some are and some are not. Instead it’s what Jesus made us to be in His death and resurrection: a thermostat.
I have to get better starting today. I can’t just try. In the words of Master Yoda “There is no try. Do or not do!”
That’s a thermostat.
Can you do?
Let me know.
God is good all the time!