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When we changed our stove

October 24, 2008

This morning I was cleaning up in the kitchen (yeah!).  Besides cleaning the counters I was also cleaning our stainless appliances — microwave, frig, dishwasher, and stove (oh, I almost forgot I cleaned the fan above the stove too).  As I was cleaning the stove/oven I remembered that it was almost two years ago that we got our Dacor gas stove/electric oven appliance.  We really like it.  But it was an adjustment.  You just don’t go from an all electric stove/oven to a combo.

I mean you could.  But we couldn’t.

We considered making such a change because we knew that at some point we would need a new stove/oven.  We had the original one for 14 years.  So I definitely think we got our money’s worth.  Finally the time came when we had to replace.  We’d been looking, but now with purpose we shopped and looked and read.  Then we decided.  So between the purchase and the arrival, installation work had to be done.  This was a gas stove so we needed to extend our gas line under the house and into the house.  Even after the stove arrived we had to make some adjustments before it was fully functional.  All this was happening as Thanksgiving was approaching.  (Smile).

Without the changes we would have had a great stove…to look at.  We had to invest in making some changes to accommodate what was required.

Perhaps you are thinking, “Well of course you’d make changes.  You do what needs to be done!”  Or perhaps you are wondering, “Why not just get something that fits with what you already have, why change?”  Indeed, why or why not?

We made the change because we felt that it would be better. Increasing what we could do both cooking and baking.  It has.  In fact something else has happened, there are times when Steve and I work together cooking and preparing a meal.

This morning as I cleaned I was thinking about what I have been learning through Seminary and how that fits with what I sensed was happening in the church and needed even before I went to Seminary.  I knew that change was needed if the Church were to be relevant to the very culture and people we are to be “lights” before. I think my stove is an illustration of what might be needed in the body of Christ.

Our stove/oven is connected to two power sources — electrical and natural gas.  Old and new (for us anyway). We had to make changes.  It’s been worth it.

But changes are seldom clean or neat, often something unexpected arises.  With each opportunity we have to face our desire to return to what is known or the way we used to do something.  What keeps you going?  Sometimes it is intangible, sometimes it is known.  It depends on what you are focused on.  If I think church as I experience it now is the only way, the right way then I will resist change at all costs.  Thus proving that church really is an institution.  But if I focus on the One who initiated a movement then our imagination is expanded and recaptured. That it not easy as it sounds.  Knowing change is needed means we must face and confront how deeply invested we are to the way things are done (trust me this isn’t only a problem in churches).  When God moves the Spirit stirs things often from the marginal places — sometimes from within the system, but not recognized by the system; sometimes in ways that tempt us to fix without realizing more work needs to be done.

Is it worth it?  The proof comes by what is set on the table.

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