Thursday, March 11, 2010

Derailing a train is easy -- Getting it back on track is another story

I have never witnessed a train derailment or its aftermath in person, but I have seen the images on the news and in films. The cars that were once lined up one after another and all moving together in a well planned course toward a predetermined destination are left scattered all over the countryside. Some are piled on top of others, many of them have uncoupled and may have landed in a riverbed, or slid down a hillside a great distance from the track that had previously determined their course. Everything is a mess. Lives have been lost, the area surrounding the track has been devastated, others that were to follow in the path of the train before them have their journeys delayed or cancelled altogether. The economic hardship is tremendous as new cars have to be purchased, new track has to be place, and the cleanup cost must be paid.
It only takes a moment for a train to derail. By comparison, getting the train back on track takes a very long time. This is true for life and true for the church as well. Our lives can look like a train wreck in an instant. You find out that your spouse has been cheating on you. Your child is arrested. The doctor tells you the bad news. The phone rings in the middle of the night. You yield to the temptation, etc. In a moment everything is a disaster. Everywhere that I look I see lives that are ‘train wrecks’. What happened? Why did they get so off track?

There are train wrecks in the Kingdom as well. The church gets off track. It no longer rides the twin rails of prayer and mission, but jumps the rails to seek after entertainment and self. We no longer allow sound doctrine to be the ties that hold the rails together, but instead we turn aside to the sounds of the world – we get off track. It happens quickly! Getting things put back together takes a long time.  The church has lost its way. What happened?  Why did it get so far off track? How is it that so many ‘believers’ uncouple themselves from the body of Christ and attempt to go their own way? They can’t get anywhere by themselves – we need each other!
I’m weary of train wrecks! Yet, I am determined to help others get back on track. I am determined to get the church back on track. It will not be easy. It will not happen overnight. It is going to take some time, some effort, some money, and some sacrifice, but it will get back on track. It must get back on track! As long as our lives and the church remain derailed those that come after us will not arrive at their destination. We’ve got work to do!