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The Same Ole' Same Ole'

     My parents are in their late 70’s. They have been married 53 years, have the same friends they “did life” with back in their 20’s, have attended the same church for 45 years, have sung in the same church choir for 45 years, still live in the same house they bought when they got married. My daddy worked the same job for 35 years before retirement and to this day still drives only an Oldsmobile . . . the color white!

     Maybe the thought of this amount of “sameness” makes you yawn . . . or maybe you’re like me, and it makes you smile. I didn’t grow up in a perfect home . . . nobody ever has, but my parents’ “sameness” day in and day out, week by week, and month by month instilled a calmness in my spirit. Life wasn’t filled with “bells and whistles” every day, but the seasonal traditions of music concerts, recitals, Friday night football games, traveling to grandma’s house in Macon, Georgia (the reason for my deep southern roots!), and simple outings for pizza and ice cream were all wonderful memories growing up.

     I am reminded that Jesus Christ is the SAME, yesterday, today, and forever. He is my all in all, whether we are having a mountain-top experience or in the every day, ordinary life of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and making sure my children get to ballet or violin lessons on time.

     Now that 2011 has arrived, instead of longing for something else “out there” for your happiness, plant yourself like a “tree planted by rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” Psalm 1:3 (NKJV).

     Plant yourself in a solid, Bible preaching church . . . and stay put! The quickest way to kill a tree or at least hinder its growth and fruitfulness is to keep transplanting it. Trees are strongest in their natural habitat. Even when the strong winds come, if it is planted as a seedling, it will most likely withstand the storm. (Yes, you can withstand even the storms of challenging relationships that roar in and out of your church life!) As a Christian, you will flourish in the house of God, according to Psalm 92:13.

     This new year make it your resolution to soak your life in the same church. God wants your roots to grow downward and deep. If you are constantly moving from church to church, it will be difficult to get established anywhere, so that you can be used by God to do what you were created to do.

     The Word of God compares the believer to two types of trees—the palm tree and the cedar tree. Palm trees flourish. They are flexible, enduring, and provide refreshment and rest to all around them. People love palm trees! As Christians, we are to be like that . . . refreshing and inviting.

     Cedar trees grow downward, sending roots deep into the soil for nourishment and stability. The Cedars of Lebanon can grow nearly 130 feet high, seeming to pierce the clouds. They can live for generations.

     Dear sister in Christ, settle down in a good church, and you will flourish! You will bear good fruit that will remain. If nothing else, do it for your children.

     Thank you to my mom and dad who, by their example, taught me the value of sameness.

[A couple additional thoughts: Though God has called us to put down roots, there are times when God may be calling you to leave a church. If doctrinal error is occurring, or if the vision of the church has clearly changed away from biblical priorities, then there is the possibility that God may be calling you to leave. However, it could be that God might be calling you to help return the church to orthodoxy or biblical priorities. Seek God earnestly, resolve any relational issues, and then follow His leading.

Secondly, for those whose vocation requires them to frequently relocate (like the military), God’s abundant grace will lead you to the right church in any city that you live in. Just resolve to find a home church as soon as possible, and then stay in that church as long as possible. We love our military families!]

Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

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