Today was a very refreshing day at church. Today the Family Ministries pastor, Ty Neal began a series called, "Volume" - starting with a sermon called, "Turn it Down". I particularly enjoyed it because I found myself really relating a lot to his spinning plates analogies. I hope Ty has more opportunities to teach "big church" more often.
Ty's message also brought some confirmation to some out of order thoughts I've been having as well. As I try to measure a few things in my walk with God, my life, and where exactly I am supposed to be - I feel more and more strongly about just unity. Unity among believers. Ty really hit this home at the end when he talked about priorities in our lives and things that are eternal - to love God and to love people. All these other doctrinal issues that we pound away at each other against and for are just divisions that hurt people and divide the body.
On Rav the other day, someone posed the question - what if all the world's major religions united together to make a difference instead of bickering? It was a good question. Why can't Muslims, Jews, Christians, and other major world religions sit down and say, "Hey, I know we believe differently. But we've got starving people here, here, and here. Let's unite our resources and go feed them. Then meet back here at 0600 on this date and decide what we want to do then." Sure, they may each believe the other will be tortured to an eternity (or not - depending on various belief systems) - but RIGHT now, each one can unite to make a difference and glorify their deity.
I once read a story about a small town in which an adult (porn) store set up shot. The town was upset and wanted them gone. Local religious leaders set up a time, date, and location to meet to decide how best to handle the situation. When the LDS Bishop and EQ President entered the situation, the Christian pastors stood up and said, "If the Mormons are involved, we're leaving." They'd rather have the porn store, than the Mormons help. I'm sure there are a hundred stories like this only substitute and move around those involved.
After the sermon I pondered over ways to take out the noise in my life, and overall be more unified with those around me. I realized, that it's really easy to be negative, to be short, ill tempered, angry. So, I'll be even more conscious to not be those things - not just to those I can relate to - parents, cashiers, service people, but to everyone I met. Including the difficult kids in my neighborhood. Attitude goes a long way - and sometimes, my attitude hasn't always been the best. Forgiveness and grace are supposed to be more apart of who I am, they were freely given to me, and I am supposed to freely give them to others. Seeing the glory of God in those different from me. This I am sure, will be more challenging since I am more of a Mormon who attends a Protestant church BUT I am sure it will work out with a little patience, a lot of prayer, and a whole lot of grace.