I built this pretty pond. There are pretty chairs arranged in groups to encourage conversation. There are lovely flowers and greenery for people to enjoy. The whole was created to make people comfortable. The pond is covered in lily pads and pretty imported dragonflies flit from pad to pad.
I invited people to come to my pond. Those people look a lot like me. We have the same values, similar upbringings, and agree on most issues. We had lots of great fun at the pond. We talked, we shared. Life at the pond was enjoyable and agreeable.
There was something about the pond that was just not right. At first most people didn’t notice it because everything around the pond was so pretty, but if you stayed long enough and looked close enough you could tell —
the pond was stagnant. The water was stale and unmoving.
The pretty pond is the story of my life in ministry. For so long, I had all the ‘stuff’ to make me look good. The pretty stuff; the stuff that looked like everyone else’s pretty stuff. I made people comfortable and complacent – because I was comfortable and complacent. I was stagnant and stale.
God called me out of that place – well, He’d long been calling, I just wasn’t listening. I liked it there at the pretty pond with the people who didn’t challenge me to go beyond complacent into the adventure of a life fully submitted to Christ.
I’m still a work in progress and I’ll slip back into that stale pond from time to time, but once you’ve experienced a life with Christ in the deep, rushing, refreshing, living water, a stale pond just won’t do it for you.
Christ called His disciples to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men (Luke 5), He didn’t call them to build a pond and wait for people to show up.
Are we building ponds and waiting? I was.