There are a lot of nice things about living in a small town, but on my way to work I became frustrated with a small town I drove through. First, the highway I usually take is closed due to bridge work. I have to take a small farm road to get back to another highway to take me to the interstate. I came to a train track with the little rails that come down to block your way and flashing lights. The lights were flashing, one rail up and another down. I waited a few minutes and then it was clear a train wasn't coming, I drove around the guard, through the ditch.
Then I turn on my highway to take me to the interstate, and I waited 45 minutes for a wreck to be cleared. It must have just happened as I drove upon it, because much of the wait was for emergency personnel to get through the line of cars, who decided impatiently to turn around in the 2 lane road, thus blocking the emergency personnel and tow trucks from getting to the scene. The unfortunate thing was after that long wait, a sure test of my patience, I finally decided that I had to get out of the line of traffic and find my way down another farm road that might eventually lead me back to the highway I needed to get on to get to work.
I realized that sometimes, Christians are like that scene in the small town. First, God puts things in our path from going the wrong way, or for our safety. We decide it is easier to go around than back track or wait on God's timing. We don't call for help, like maybe I should have to help out the next person who came along to the flashing lights and guards. Instead, we do it our own way, in our own timing, often without consideration for anyone else. We don't stop to think that God puts roadblocks in our path for a reason.
Many times, Christians are insistent on the one way things are always done. I drive to work the same way every time, barring a road closure, which has happened a lot lately. I can't count the number of times I have heard someone in a church meeting say "That's how we have always done it." There are other, possibly better ways to do things, but as Christians we get stuck in a rut, conforming to things around instead of being transformed from faith to faith. We begin to trust our routine more than we do God to provide and help us grow.
On the way home, I had one more thought about small towns and how they can relate to small Christianity. It was almost midnight, and everything was black because things were all closed, no cars on the road, and only a few street lights. I was reminded of a quote I heard "If your church disappeared, would your community notice?" Hopefully we don't allow church to be contained in the four walls of a building, so that our lights stop shining with services are not being held. The world is dark without the light of Christian's sharing the good news of Christ. As Christians, we have to be out in the world to illuminate the darkness, lights don't shine very brightly when they are surrounded with light.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
I was gonna title this Small Town Christianity, but I thought some might think I am implying that those in small towns can't live God-sized lives, so I changed it! Small groups have the ability to do great things for Christ!