Everyone is looking for a way out. Maybe that is part of the problem. From bailouts to wanting out of our marriages. We have buyouts, close outs, and hand outs. What we need to teach is a way to stay in.
Let me explain my thinking. When there is a way out, we are less determined to make it work. In the back of our minds, we always know we can desert our post, cut our losses and run. We have developed such a microwave mentality in our society that we aren't willing to put in the time and effort and (did I mention?) time it takes to see things through. Marriage isn't working after a few years? Get out. Our favorite team hasn't won a championship after a few years with the new coach? Buy out his contract and move on to the next sucker. Finances not in order and money disappearing? Get a hand out or a bailout or some kind of out. What are we teaching our kids? What are we making ourselves out to be? A nation of people who want the easy way....you guessed it, out!
Can you imagine what this country would be like today if our Founding Fathers had looked for an easy out? What if the earliest settlers had quit their exploration because there were no easy roads? Do you think Martin Luther King would have ever had his dream, that women would ever have gained the right to vote or that America would have emerged from World War II if they had only wanted the easy way out? Who will lead this nation in our next generation if we raise a bunch of "outers?"
The same is true of our churches. One of my staff members sent me an e-mail regarding this very thing this morning. Great churches are filled with people who determine from the beginning there is no way out, no back door for when things get tough. They are driven by great people who understand that anything worth doing is worth the time to make it right. The world will not come to know the message of God's love if we keep looking for the easy way to share it. It will require sacrifice, commitment, deep love, TIME and someone who is willing to nail the back door shut!!
Good kids, great marriages, strong careers, better health, mission endeavors and vibrant churches all have two things in common--hard work and plenty of time.
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4 NIV