Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

California Roll Style

on March 31, 2021

I came upon a 4-way stop this morning on my way to work. As my car came crept up to the stop sign, I witnessed a truck slow to a crawl, but not come to a complete stop at their designated stop sign. I thought, “Ooooh, look at you just California rolling” through the intersection. Disclaimer; I may be guilty of doing this from time to time myself.

Over the course of my life, many people have made an impact on my life. But there’s a difference between someone making an impact on your live versus in your life.

I don’t know where I learned the phrase “California roll” for this traffic violation but wherever I learned it, it stuck. According to urban dictionary, this phrase means: “To fail to make a complete stop at a red light or stop sign, especially when turning.” See, I didn’t just make this up on my own. And I bet you thought I was gonna be talking about sushi! HA! This is not about sushi.

This past year where we’ve been allowed to work from home, stay secluded in our homes, and refrain from the life we’ve grown accustomed to has been hard. Life may not have come to a complete stop, but it definitely came to a California roll.

Where did I see this happen the most in my life? In my faith. Let me explain. Before the Covid “lockdown” I was in “control” of whether I went to go to church or not. When I made the decision to stay home from church pre-Covid, it was typically because the week had been to “people-y” for me. You all are awesome, but don’t get me wrong, sometimes life outside the confines of my home, is a lot for this introverted extrovert girl.

But then staying at home became my only option, thanks to a pandemic. Awesome. Not!

Watching church on-line is easy. It means I don’t have to be fully present. I can carry my digital device from room to room in my house and listen to the message while doing other things. It’s called multi-tasking. You know what happens when you multi-task? Something usually gets missed.

This past Sunday, I decided I was going to be fully present during church. No multi-tasking allowed. No California roll type faith happening this day. I didn’t go in-person. I stayed home. I was reminded as I listened and watched the worship and message who I was there for and why.

Church is not about the people. It’s not about the worship team, the pastor, the tithing, or the potlucks. It’s not about the hypocrites, the sinners, or the saints. Those reasons alone can actually keep you from going to church. They make for a good excuse. I mean who hasn’t heard, “there’s too many hypocrites in church” as an excuse not to go?

Please hear my heart when I say those things I’ve mentioned are not reasons to not attend church. I’ve had so many amazing encounters because of all those people and events. Having a church family is truly a blessing in ways I can’t even begin to remotely express my gratitude over. Relationship and community are a part of the life Jesus has for us. We need our peeps. And I’m not talking about them sugary marshmallow shaped chicks or bunnies! Blech!

So what’s church about if it isn’t those “things”? I’m so glad you asked. It’s about Jesus. It’s always been about Jesus and the message of the gospel. It’s about rest. It’s about taking the focus off you and centering on the One who gave His life for you. It’s about feeding your soul with the life altering Bread of life. If you go to church for any other reason than getting to know Jesus intimately than you’re missing out on the very thing you…I need most. Jesus.

 Jesus is the only One who makes an impact IN you. But, you have to stop long enough to get to know Him. California rolling through the process is like swiping right on a dating app. Or is it left? Clearly I don’t use these. HA!

The point of all this babbling is to say going to church is FOR you, but it’s ABOUT Him. What you get out of the experience is where you place your focus.

Matthew 6:33 says:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ~ NIV (emphasis added)

If you want to know about “all these things” mentioned in that verse, I’d recommend reading all of Matthew 6.

At the end of the day, getting to know Jesus is a choice. How much time you invest in doing that, again, your choice. It’s called free will. It’s a gift. One we didn’t earn. And that’s the thing, Jesus freely gave His life for you. And you get to decide if you want in or out. That’s some amazing grace my friends. Choose wisely.

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