My father used to take us skiing at Mammoth Lakes when I was a girl. I remember being scared and cold all the time, but I tried to make the best of it. My dad, like any good dad, wanted to push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to do something I could be proud of. So I tried. I learned to work the bindings on my skis, hop off the chair lift and do the snowplow. But I really didn’t enjoy it. Finally, one winter when I was about 13, I told my Dad I would not be going along this year. It just wasn’t my thing. He gracefully let me stay home.
As a parent, I now know the feeling of disappointment when discovering that my child is not excited about the same things I am. We all wish we could share our deepest joys with our kids–our Joni Mitchell albums, our 80’s hairstyles, our favorite novels. They, of course, laugh at what we love.
But they will have their own joys to discover, and we can still push them to go beyond their comfort zones into new territory we will never explore.
These days, my father is aging and has dementia. Without realizing it, he has once again pushed me out of my comfort zone to help my siblings care for him. When I get frustrated by this unfamiliar role, I remember our days on the ski slopes and remind myself that, this time, I cannot back away from the challenge. He is still teaching me.
In the church, we are different generations trying to worship God and follow Christ together. Sometimes the way of the elders just doesn’t work for the young. The elders have to get over their disappointment about this and let new forms of Church emerge. The younger have both the burden and the joy of creating those new forms. The challenge of discipleship doesn’t go away just because you don’t like the form of Church your parents worshiped in.
Behold, God is making all things new. How can you help Her?