Have you ever called "911"? As a former police officer, I have responded to hundreds of "911" calls. They varied in severity and type. But the bottom line is that it was an emergency for the people who called. It was their crisis moment.
I went on a lot of calls for runaways. Parents would call the authorities to report that their child had run away from home. Perhaps there was a disagreement and the child didn't like the result so they grabbed some clothes and out the door they went. Perhaps there was some discipline and they didn't like being punished so they hit the road. Perhaps they felt like they were the "blacksheep"....always picked on and the only child who had to do this or that. They felt like they weren't being treated fairly so they take their toys and move along. I gotta tell ya, I rarely felt much sympathy for the child. I would defintely hear both sides. I would hear what the parent had to say and then I would find the child and hear their side. Most often times, I would simply find a child acting childish. A child who didn't get their way and acted out. A child who became extremely disrespectful, disobedient and self-centered. More times than not, it was the right thing for the parent to call the "authorities". Sometimes with a little firm discussion, they saw the light. Sometimes it required some paperwork and they were entered into the court system and placed on probation to try to get their attention. Sometimes this child had some previous experience acting out childishly and they were awarded a night or two in JDC (Juvenile Detention Center).
Why am I blogging about cop stuff and runaways? Right? I hear ya and now it's time to pull a "Paul Harvey and the 'rest of the story'".
Can you imagine if children were free to just pack up and say, "You know, Mom, Dad....I'm just not that happy here, so I'm gonna go live with someone else." The rules and atmosphere here just don't please ME that much....I think I'll go live with my friend where I will like it better." "You know, dad....I just don't like where I live. I mean, all my friends live there, so I'm gonna just pack up and move somewhere more convenient to my friends and school." WOW! What chaos we would have if we allowed such nonsense!!
Yet, in God's family, this seems to be the accepted norm. We are called brothers and sisters in Christ! We do life together. We worship our God in the same place and we laugh together and cry together and grow together. We are family. That is what we are called to do and be!
I know there are lots of churches out there. There are growing churches. There are dying churches. There are traditional churches. There are contemporary churches. There are deep and meaningful churches. There are entertaining churches. There are small churches. There are large churches. There are churches that tell the truth and there are churches that tickle your feet. Your options are endless! I am very grateful for Quarry Rock Church. For all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who worship at Quarry Rock, I love you and am so blessed to be your pastor! I long to do the right things and do things well. I am, however....human! Perfect? Not even! I would like to leave you with a poem that I love to use often:
The Perfect Church
If you find the perfect church without one fault or smear,
For goodness sake don't join that church, you'll spoil the atmosphere!
But since no perfect church exists made by perfect men,
let's cease looking for that church, and love the church we're in!
So, remember....there is no perfect church! Love the one you are in. And by the way, you made a great choice in my biased opinion by choosing Quarry Rock. If, however, you try running away, I'm calling the authority! "Father!!!"