No More Box Lunches

LUNCH BOXI sat down for lunch one time with two good brothers in the kingdom.  I knew each of the brothers well and figured they needed to know one another. I knew that if I introduced them, they would hit it off.  So, I arranged our little lunch gathering.

I normally show up for such event early.  But both brothers beat me to the designated eatery and had deducted that the other was the brother they were there to meet.  By the time I had gotten there, they had struck up a conversation.  Interrupting their interaction with my arrival, hugs were given all around and then we proceeded to our table.

At our table, they continued their previous conversation. This was fine for me since the entire reason we were all together was for them to meet and get to know one another.  So, I just sat there and listened.

Not knowing what they were talking about, it took me a few minutes of listening to come up to speed. Ultimately I determined that they were discussing the nuances of a particular “hot topic” doctrinal issue.  I have to admit, it seemed a bit strange to me for brothers who just met to be involving themselves in such a venture.  It was becoming a bit uncomfortable actually as each brother took their stance and, though it was amicable, defended their position.

Now, maybe it was just me, but this is not how I saw the meet and greet going!

Fortunately, the waitress came to take our orders.  I thought this was a good thing because maybe the interruption would provide an end to the existing conversation and open the door to a more, in my opinion, suitable track of spoken words.

Having just returned from a trip visiting a community in a different state, one of the brothers asked me how the trip went. I gave a brief recap and then redirected the conversation back to the two brothers getting to know one another and potentially connecting.

So, I broached the subject of family since I knew both had similar situations.  After sharing the basic details of family life, the conversation was redirected to the “what do you do in ministry” question.  As I ate my lunch, I watched as these two brothers began comparing ministries and sizing one another up based upon apparent success.  My salad lost all of its taste as I observed the old nasty, competitive, one-up you, what you can do I can do better thing sit down at the table with  us.  Then, the name dropping began.

Okay………..I’ve had enough.

I blatantly interrupted.  “You know, guys..” I blurted, “…I wanted you two to meet because I know that you both……”   And then I shared a weakness and a humbling moment of brokenness that I knew that we all three had experienced and shared in common.

It got real quiet at the table.  I’ll never forget it.  Both brothers reached for their glasses at the same time and took a slurp of their tasty luncheon beverage.

I continued.  “Do you remember, (name of one brother), when I shared that with you and how excited you were to find a brother who could relate with you and minister to you?”  Brother 1 nodded and whispered, “Yeah.”

“It’s pretty much the same way you responded, (name of brother number two), isn’t it?” I asked.  Brother 2 sighed deeply.

After some further encouragement, we reconnoitered our conversation and began to focus on our brokenness and inabilities and the goodness of Father surfaced along with Christ’s preeminence.  This “inside the box lunch”  became a much different discussion and one that I was pleased and blessed to be involved in.

The longer I live the more I realize that life is short.  I’ve sat in on and participated in many conversations like the one formerly mentioned. I don’t want to spend any time I have left doing such things. However,  I am completely open to conversations like the latter.

I have learned over the years that Kingdom connections aren’t based upon a brother’s apparent strengths and abilities but are formed based upon how Christ has been known in and through brokenness.  I don’t want to meet a brother gathered around his anointing, calling or charisma….or mine.  I want to meet a brother at the Cross……………at the point of death to ourselves along with our ambitions, agendas, titles and ideas of what we want to do for God.  I’ve discovered true, deep, meaningful connections are grounded in such a death and infused with His Resurrection Life.  If “what we are going to do” isn’t fully and authentically grounded in “what He has done” in us, then I’m out.

Fortunately, Father has blessed me with like-minded brethren and my life is deeply enriched through them.  At times, I’m thoroughly amazed at the increase, growth and maturity I see in my life and other brothers through such relationships. It is the type of traction I have always desired to see in my faith walk.  It doesn’t compute into terms of the antiquated church structure or religious form, nor should it.  Such relationships and the experiences accompanying them are substantive of the New Creation and consistently transformative.

I reckon that this post is a simple, sincere thank you to those brothers with whom I walk in the Kingdom. My life has forever been changed, and, I fully expect, will continue to be transformed through your willingness to be transparent, humble and truly loving by accepting me as I am but encouraging me to grow.  I believe we are on the right path and my prayer is that we continue to be led by the Spirit and humble ourselves as sons in Father’s House!

Keep your peace!

 

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “No More Box Lunches

  1. Man, the first part of this story was actually hard to read, because I could “feel” it and have been in those conversations and hate them. So glad it ended better than it began.

  2. Bryon,

    My wife and I encounter a similar mindset in some of the circles we are involved in. As part of the Homeschooling movement, we find that often when homeschooling moms get together, there is a tendency to compare(and I know this is common in all circles of Christianity). We rattle off our successes and how great we are doing. Stuff about how we are feeding our families completely organic, gluten free, GMO free, creating zero waste, and how we have got our 8 year old doing laundry for the entire house. You know, bragging. But we leave these kinds of conversations going, “I thought when we encounter other believers we would be more encouraged. Rather, I am more discouraged than before I began the conversation…” Instead of talking about ourselves, if we would learn to genuinely listen to one another and care about others, we would be mutually encouraged. This isn’t a competition, amen?

  3. Bryon, I see here a scriptural principle that you walked in and that we should learn from the testimony, “…..to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God”. II Cor. 1:4. Very good.

  4. Hi Bryon, Thank you for your transparency and teaching us the value of being transparent. As I read the above post…at first I thought, “Oh my…where is this going….but as I read I was so encouraged by the transparency conveyed within (without the fear of being hurt or turned away). The joy of learning to love unconditionally…certainly a daily process…but oh so worth the effort…thank you for the journey of walking together. Love and Blessings!

  5. Dear Bryon, I always feel challenged by The Lord when reading your articles which has led to much prayer and reflection. One matter of serious concern for me is the various advertisements that appear at the bottom of your articles. Some of these advertisements are highly suggestive and provocative in a worldly sense and certainly are not appropriate for any true believer in Jesus Christ.

    I believe that you need to seek The Lord on this matter as the advertisements distract from your message from The Lord. Your brother in Christ Bob Patterson (Sydney, Australia)

    Regards, Bob

    >

    • Hello, Bob…….thanks for the encouragement and words of concern regarding the ads.

      I hope you understand that I have absolutely nothing to do with the ads and certainly receive no benefit from them. My understanding is that since I dont pay for a premium subscription with WordPress, the ads randomly show up and I have no say in the matter. I suppose I could pay for a premium subscription so as to eliminate them from appearing.

      Again, thanks for reading and caring enough to address the matter.

      Peace!

  6. When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

    Henri Nouwen

  7. Being a true friend involves the willingness to risk rejection for the sake of another/others. Confronting the brothers lovingly with the truth as you did creates far greater opportunity for their growth than hours spent in a “discipleship” class. Thanks for sharing.

    • Absolutely, David…….wish I could say that it was pure spiritual wisdom that had me interject,,,,,,but mostly, I was just fed up. Thankfully, Father was able to redeem the situation!

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s