Friday, September 18, 2015

Which King?

This past Sunday we witnessed a teachable moment gone awry.  The pastor called the children to the front of the church to pray with them before dismissing them to “King’s Kids” (Sunday School) classes.  Before he prayed he asked them what they were learning about in King’s Kids. 

One little guy piped up, "The king!”  Clearly thinking this was a teachable moment the pastor responded, “Which king?”  To which the little guy responded, “Burger King!”

Gales of laughter ensued from the congregation and pastors.  A prayer was said and the kids were sent off to their classes.  I leaned over and whispered to my husband, “There’s got to be a blog post in there somewhere.”  So here we are.

It’s been at least 15 years, possibly more, since I ingested a fast food burger!  Generally they wreak havoc with my digestive system.  However, in the interests of blog research, further investigation was required.  I had to google “Burger King” to find out where they were located in Edmonton, and ended up hitting on $2.49 Whopper Wednesday; a whopper, fries, and a bottle of water for only $5.25.  Who knew!

I remember the Burger King “king” as a fairly cheesy (no pun intended for those who like their Whopper with cheese) branding character.  Apparently their marketing people felt the same because there is no hint of the “king” anywhere in the restaurant.  The closest I could find related to kingship was a crown on the wall and one on their paper cups.

So apparently the burger “king” no longer exists as a character but the legacy of Burger King lives on in $2.49 Whopper Wednesdays and in the mind of a child on Sunday morning!

Where am I going with this?  Well, aside from actually enjoying my grossly unhealthy lunch, I got to thinking about kings. 

In that little guy’s life the king of choice at that particular moment was Burger King.  Maybe he’d been promised Burger King for lunch.  I’m fairly sure the answer the pastor was hoping to extract from this little guy was Jesus.  (After all isn’t that the answer to any Sunday School question?)

As Christians, Jesus is our Lord and King.  What’s sad is how often we put things ahead of Jesus.  Soon He becomes downgraded from King to commoner.

We end up treating Jesus no better than a fast food order window.  We absent-mindedly toss up prayers, expecting short order answers in five minutes or less.  Then we wonder why we feel disconnected and dissatisfied in our Christian walk. 

How much better would it be if we spent time getting to know Jesus, who He is, and what He did to save us from our messed up lives; giving us eternal life with our Father in Heaven?  How close a relationship would we have with Him if we spent daily time in prayer and bible study?  Start today and renew your relationship with our King.

Things To Think About
Have you downgraded Jesus’ status from Lord and King to something else?  Are you in the habit of making “fast food prayer requests”?  What steps can you take today to re-establish Jesus’ kingship in your life?

Share your thoughts by clicking on “Comments” below.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Infidelity - A Rising Tide

A couple of weeks ago I was in BC for a conference.  I had an hour before dinner and couldn’t resist the ocean just across the street from the hotel.  It invited me to come and explore.

I strolled along taking time to crouch down to examine tiny marine ecosystems left behind in tidal pools on the beach.  As I squatted beside one I realized the pool had expanded slightly, now lapping at the toes of my shoes. 

Thinking the pool was flowing into the depression left by my shoes in the sand, I backed up, continuing to examine the pool.  Before I knew it the tips of my shoes were surrounded again.  I moved on to another pool.  Before long that one too expanded to encompass the soles of my shoes.

After a few minutes of thinking about this I looked up to see the broader picture.  It wasn’t just the tidal pools expanding to fill the dents left behind by my shoes.  The whole beach was inexorably being consumed by the ocean.

This wasn’t a tide coming in with big crashing waves like I’ve seen on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  This was water, steadily creeping over the sand and drowning every particle.  I had never seen a tide come in like this.  It had an eerie feel to it.
Within an hour the entire sandy beach was ingested by ocean and all the life in the tidal pools returned from whence it came.

Watching the relentless flow of water reminded me of how insidiously infidelity creeps into our marriages.  It starts out innocently enough.  A brief stop to glance in a tidal pool. 

The “tidal pool” might be a friend request on Facebook, or a lunch with a colleague.  A pleasant on-line conversation ensues, one lunch leads to another.  You crouch by the “tidal pool” enjoying the different world into which you are drawn.

Soon you realize your feet are getting wet.  The Facebook conversation turns into a face to face meeting and then a “date”.  The innocent lunch at work becomes regular “business dinner meetings” that last a little longer and become a little less innocent each time.

You back up thinking it’s nothing serious, but you miss the steady flow of water surrounding you.  Once the tide of infidelity starts it doesn’t stop until it consumes everything in its path; your family, your marriage, your faith, your friendships, your job, your self-esteem, your reputation, and your emotional and sometimes mental health. 

When a tide comes in, it sweeps over everything in its path.  When it goes out it leaves debris scattered behind on the beach.  Washed up bits of refuse on the sand and tiny ecosystems struggling to survive in pools of brackish water. 

This isn’t much different than the shattered lives left behind by infidelity in a marriage; each affected party struggling to survive the aftermath. 

Infidelity is easy to fall into.  Watch for the warning signs in your day to day activities and stop it before the tide consumes you.

Are you hiding a Facebook “friend” or relationship from your spouse?  Do you enjoy the attention of a co-worker more than you should?  Are you telling your commuter “buddy” things you should only be sharing with your spouse?  Do you complain about your spouse to someone of the opposite sex so they’ll flatter you and make you feel better?  Do you hide texts you receive from a “friend” from your spouse?

You’re on dangerous ground if you find yourself doing any of these or other questionable activities.  It’s time to take steps to stop an inappropriate relationship before it turns into an affair.