I’ve been there before many times in my lifetime. That place when I have tried to be good at something; no, not good, the best. And in my multiple attempts to be the BEST at that something, fallen flat on my face. Not once. Not twice. But more times than I can count. I think of Edison and his supposed 1,000-3,000 (depending on the source) attempts to create a incandescent light bulb, and his explanation that he had not FAILED 1,000 times, but found 1,000 ways how not to create a light bulb. I haven’t been nearly that adamant about being successful with anything, but I definitely have found many ways how not to do many things.
At times, I have needed to turn to others for advice on how to be successful at something. For example, I consider myself to be someone who is able to handle tools and have been known to fix a thing or two from time to time. But I do have a fair understanding of my limitations and who to call when I need support. However, I am much better at doing that when it comes to doing things like running electrical work than I am when it comes to asking for support through tough life events. Instead, I stubbornly think I can just muscle through it on my own with the thinking “this too shall pass.” When I hit those points in my life, those tough times last longer than necessary. I need to learn to find support from those around me.
This short passage from Peter is about just that. About the church being a support system for those around us. I’m guessing it would be easy to interpret these words as how we, the church, should be supporting each other, the members of the church. And, of course, we don’t have to look too far outside the walls of our church to find people who need that sort of support. But I would like to think that Peter is writing to us, the church, about supporting not only those within our walls, but also those outside our walls.
Just watch the news, or your Twitter or Facebook feeds, to see how people around town, our country, and world are doing. We just watched a news story on CNN 10 in my social studies class about how people in Thailand don’t even have soap for the luxury of washing hands or taking showers. Can you imagine?
How can we, THE CHURCH, be a support system to all of those around us? Are we, the church, the Christian people, WILLING to minister to ALL people, no matter their background? This passage challenges us to do this willingly, not because we have been prodded. How can we minister to people, not for our own gain, to get a better spot in heaven, but because it is the right thing to do? I know this is an area of life that I still need to get better at.