Friday, February 29, 2008

Life Changes


Today I was in Modesto for a meeting at Modesto Junior College. While I was there, I drove by to check out the old police academy and shooting range where I trained to be a police officer. There was almost nothing there. Most of the old army barrack buildings had been demolished and replaced with lawn or new buildings. However there was still a few things left.

The first building I came across was the "gas house". This building is completely air tight, except for some controllable vents on the roof. The instructors would completely fill the room with tear gas. The tear gas was so thick and with no external light, you could almost not see your hand in front of your face. You had to enter with a partner and a flashlight. Wait it gets better...you did it 3 times. The first time with a gas mask on. The 2nd time with no mask, and you had to put your mask on and purge as soon as you entered. The 3rd time you entered with no masks, you had to tell the instructor your partners name, and vice versa, and then you could exit. I never thought I would miss this place. Yet today, as I drove by the abandoned building, it became quite nostalgic.

In just 15 years, the place that used to be active with recruits has been replaced or abondoned. I had not visited this site since I graduated, and had I not known what it used to look like, I would not have recognized the change. Things change and life changes. I could choose to be upset over the abondonment of my gas house and the removal of the old barracks, or I could be excited about the new learning opportunities that exist for students today.
I think the same principle applies in the church, especially in front line ministries like Welcome/First Impressions, Worship, etc. It is inevitable to continue that we change. As society changes, so should we. We can fight the change, become nostalgic for the "way things used to be" or we can be excited about the change and the opportunity we have to reach people for Christ in a whole new way.
The next time you have to deal with change, let me encourage you to sit back, take a new look and find enjoyment in the change...one way or another change is going to happen.
Besides...who wants the gas house back?
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1 comment:

Jon Nichols said...

So that's what that smell in the auditorium was on Sunday! (Just kidding!) I liked this blog, not just because it spoke of change (which is one of my favorite things), but because it reminded me, once again, how crucial training is. I wonder if we have all but abandoned the spiritual training grounds of faith. I know that we can focus so much on gaining knowledge that we lose all passion, but without knowledge, passion has no real direction. Thanks for getting my thoughts rolling!