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November 25, 2013, 10:01 AM

It has become....Self Aware

Any good science fiction reader will understand the terrifying nature of the title of this blog.  There are countless stories of a dystopian future involving machines, computers, or robots that have become "self-aware" and want to eradicate those pesky humans.  Unfortunately, this is not a science fiction story, nor will it deal with angry robots or computers seeking ways to eliminate us.  For those of you looking for that, I apologize and give you permission to continue your leisurely internet browsing.  If you were hoping for something a little more meaty, then please keep reading.  

I'm a little worried about the concept in my title, not because of its fictional implications, but because of the power it has over our churches.  We are not self-aware, and its to our detriment.  For many, church is something so rote or routine that it takes little to no brain power to participate in.  We have the pieces down to an art, or worse: a habit.  We wake up at the same time, which we have worked out down to the second how much time it takes us to shower, tuck in our shirts, get the kids up, feed them breakfast while we gulp down a cup of coffee and make sure everyone gets out the door with both shoes on so we can arrive at church with it all together.  We allow ourselves those precious seconds and panic ensues if something goes wrong in that pattern of activity.  

But we make it... every week.  Walking through the doors with a smile (fake or real, doesnt matter as long as its a smile). We know where the bulletins are, we know where our friends sit, and we know where we sit.  The start time is always the same, and it usually means we begin by standing together.  Then we move into a reading, a prayer, and communion which means we put on our thoughtful face... you know, the face that means we are thinking about how hard it was on the cross.  We hear a sermon, listening for the cues that he's finally wrapping up, and we shake hands on our way out to our well thought out lunch location.  

We have this down to an art form.  Operating in the realm of "Christianity and Religion" without letting it mess with any of the precious internal workings of our lives.  This is the moment where, if you're satisfied with that level of belief, that you continue your leisurely internet browsing elsewhere because we are about to become self-aware. 

You had your chance!  We must wake up, church.  Religion has become a habit, one that we can participate in without even thinking about it anymore, much like our taking out the trash schedule, and commute to work.  We only wake up when things go wrong.  And then, when things go wrong, we pay attention until we're through the traffic jam and can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.  When God began this relationship with his people (yes, all the way back in the beginning) he courted a partner that would involve themselves in the dance.  He doesnt want someone who just stands there with slack jaw and blank eyes waiting for the song to end.  He was looking for someone who would dance.  

If we are going to be that partner in this life, we must become self-aware.  Has our pursuit of God become merely religion?  Meaning a habit, something we can pursue with mindless efficiency?  Or will be open our eyes, engage our brains and become aware of our surroundings and the deterrents we have put in place to encountering God in this crazy dance of life?!!!  WE must become the self-aware machines rampaging through the barriers that have limited us for so long... God is waiting to be re-discovered around every corner.  

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