A friend of mine posted an article Go and do the same regarding how we assist others in the church going through tough times. She’s polite and tactful in her article; I’m more direct and aren’t interested in ruffling feathers so I can say what she danced around: the church has ADD (attention deficit disorder).
Before we get to ADD, the first problem comes from people failing to ask for help. I frequently notice this when asking someone how they’re doing, and they say fine. I know they’re lying through their teeth, a syndrome dubbed “Tony the Tiger Christians.”
Don’t become a Tony the Tiger Christian, where everything is grrrrreat! The church should be a friendly place where people can assist one another through life’s trials. If you’re not availing yourself of the assistance, you’re not functioning as the church should. Blow the trumpet as Nehemiah did — let’s not play church and be Tony the Tiger Christians. (“Get Back in the Game”, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9831117-3-3, page 84)
Blow the Trumpet!
In Nehemiah as he worked building the wall he had a guy with a trumpet next to him. If the battle became too fierce, he blew the trumpet and allowed other troops to rally around. That’s the Biblical example.
Don’t be Tony the Tiger — BLOW THE STINKING TRUMPET.
That’s step one. If you’re not asking for help, that’s not good. Satan’s strategy uses divide and conquer. Don’t be a loner, use the pattern from Nehemiah and blow the trumpet and allow people to rally around.
So many are going through so much these days, if your fellowship has a prayer chain it can be a bit overwhelming at times, simply due to the volume.
Bad news folks, it’s likely to get worse.
Attention Deficit Disorder
That leads to the church and ADD. We’re generally good about providing assistance. I don’t know about other fellowships, but if I made one phone call, within 15 minutes I’d have 20 people at my door — people who dropped whatever they were doing to respond.
We’re really good at responding. When the manure hits the rotating air mover, we’ve had more food delivered than we can eat (and it’s exceptionally good food, but I digress).
Then the problem. So much happens to so many, in a week or so the crowd moves on to the next crisis, and leaves behind those who still might need help and support.
I’m not condemning anyone, but I’ve been in on those situations, and while the outpouring of support in such a short period can truly lift spirits, the moving on of the crowd to the next crisis occurs just as fast.
I’ve made that mistake — a lot.
Since then, I work hard to not forget, and check in with people even weeks later. It’s important to not forget and assume simply because it’s no longer a crisis, those needs no longer exist.
My Dog Illustrates The Lesson
My dog isn’t doing very well. At 16, he’s well into senior years, and we may soon face that decision (shudder). My dog and I have a special relationship due to his illness 6 weeks after he was born — I stayed up with him at night, and cleaned up his little puppy barf.
We bonded fast.
So now, 16 years later near the end of his life, it’s rough for me to watch. I talk about it a lot, and perhaps many people become weary of listening.
This week, a friend messaged me and asked about the dog.
No prompting, she didn’t wait to see me, she took the initiative because as an animal lover, she knew the situation, thought about it for some reason, and made the effort to ask.
It means a lot, simply because it wasn’t one of those “church moments” on Sunday — you know, you see someone hobbling in on crutches and remember to ask, oh yeah, how’s your surgery recovery going?
Never forget. Make the effort. Move away from ADD.
I’ve messed this up before and forgotten about people. I’ll likely do it again. But I’m trying to throw off the ADD mentality and focus on what people really need — sometimes even when they’re in Tony the Tiger mode and won’t blow the trumpet.
Fight Fight Fight!
My book on Hebrews contains a story you probably won’t believe. I could put it in a documentary and people would say, no, that didn’t really happen — I know I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t know the people involved.
Life is hard. You may not get a Lexus, an ice cream, or a pony.
By the way, stubbornness isn’t always bad. It’s required to fight for your ideas.
You’ve got to fight, and pick up the mantle for those wearied by the struggle. It takes dedication and commitment, and an absolute refusal to bow to the siren’s call of ADD.
You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory. Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. (Winston Churchill “Blood, Toil, Tears”, House of Commons, May 13, 1940)
To restate what Churchill said in another speech, let us fight and continue with our duties, so even if the Lord tarries for a thousand years, people will still say this was the church’s finest hour.
Stay in the game. Never quit. Never give in. Never surrender. Never forget. Blow the trumpet.
… because it’s 2:59AM.