Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Elevator Non-conformist!

Over the last 3 weeks, I have spent a lot of time going up and down in elevators. Now, this is not the first time I have had elevator experience. In fact, some might say I am an elevator specialist...I'm not sure who, but some might.

Since I have been in and out of the elevator so much in this past few weeks, the ride has become rather boring. Especially this week, as I am staying on the 17Th floor. I have had a lot of time to reflect about my elevator experience, and I had a few observations:
  • Elevator music is never good.
  • Bad Elevator music is better than listening to the cables and gears creak.
  • Elevators do not have bathrooms.
  • When you are at the top, all the elevators are at the bottom.
  • When you are at the bottom, all the elevators are at the top.
  • Apparently, pushing an elevator call button after it is already lite, does not speed up the response time.
  • Only real elevator riders know that you must turn and face the door to ride properly.
  • If the elevator has a front AND back door, people get confused really easy.
I started thinking about the last two over the last couple of days. It has become rather humorous to watch people. They always step in, to the side and turn to face the door. If there is no room, then they will stand in the middle of the elevator. If someone tries to squeeze in the last space near the door, they always seem to turn around, with their rear to the door. During the ride when they are facing everyone, they always appear uneasy and awkward because they are not conforming to the proper ride techniques.

This week, I started being an elevator non-conformist. I started facing backwards or standing in the middle or near the door, regardless of how many people are in the elevator, just to see the reaction of people. There were those, of course, who could care less. However, the majority of people would kinda give funny looks out of the corner of their eye. The more full the elevator, the odder the looks. I kept waiting for someone to make a comment, but I could never get anyone to say something.

Don't we do that sometimes? Anytime someone does something outside of what we call "normal", we either give funny looks and draw our own conclusions, or we feel obligated to "help that person out with their problems."

It is especially bad, in my opinion, within the church. The first thing we want to do is criticize other Christians, and tell them what they are doing wrong. "You can act that way, you might offend someone." "If you do that, people might think you are an extremist or something." We even do this towards other churches. If they are worshiping God in a different way then us, we want to quickly point out their mistakes, or draw our conclusions about their salvation.

I have been guilty of doing this myself. The worst part about it, is when someone tries to help me "to be a better Christian" it drives me nuts...but then I will feel obligated to do it myself. I think sometimes we may not realize we are doing it. I attended another church this past Sunday here in Utah. The first thing I wanted to do when I sat in the service, is point out all the things they are doing wrong. The reality is, I had no idea who they were trying to reach, or what their model for church was. After speaking with the Pastor and his wife for awhile, I came to realize they actual have a very exciting service, and I truly believe they are reaching their core people.

As I mentioned yesterday, we need to leave the criticism at home and love others where they are at. It is my heart that if someone wants to worship God in a way that is different then me, then I need to respect that. If someone has a personality that clashes with mine, I need to step aside and realize God can love us both...and does!

How about you?

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