Sacred Spaces 381– The Stove
28 May 2013
Here are two approaches:
“Let me tell you about this stove. Have you noticed its bright colour? I get excited every time I arrive home and walk in to kitchen. With this wonderful stove, I get to cook scrumptious meals for my family. Sometimes I boil potatoes or steam the vegetables. Sometimes on the weekend mornings, I fry up some eggs and bacon for the family. There is often laughter around the table as we share meals together. Occasionally, I find myself in a baking mood and I end up baking the most delicious cakes. In the winter months, if I am cold, I sometimes just stand in front of the stove. It radiates a heat that keeps me warm.
This stove has brought much joy to my family and i. Will you let me cook you a meal?
However, I must leave you with a warning. When using the stove, the plates get extremely hot! Please for your own safety; don’t touch the stove! You will burn your hand.”
“Don’t touch the stove! You’ll get burnt.”
You may have heard this analogy? A child is told (scolded) not to touch a stove, and reactively they just do. (And yes, they usually get burnt.)
Using this imagery, I see two approaches to life (and Christianity).
Too often, Christians and people live with the latter approach; “don’t touch the stove.”
I have been thinking how sometimes that approach comes across rather negatively and legalistic!
Maybe we need to live life with the first approach more often. Christian teaching can often throw some guilt with their messages that are actually intended for good.
For example (and there are many others), the ones of sex and drinking.
(Just hear me out here. Work with me as I explain: )
The sex one: you have the speaker starting the message “don’t have sex before you’re married.” How does that captivate an audience? (Yes, it’s not always about captivating your audience, but in starting on that foot, you lose most of the hearers.)
If that person started quite differently such as; “Sex is good. It’s God’s idea.” And then go on to talk of why pre-marital sex, etc. can be very harmful to one’s soul…
That for me just seems like a more positive approach.
Or with drinking:
“As a Christian you should not get drunk!” Wow, can you feel the weight of that judgement?! Sigh.
Yet if the person speaking started like this: “I love a good glass of wine at the end of the day.” And then speak of the dangers / downsides of drinking, etc. afterwards.
Are you with me? Do you hear what I am saying?
We need to approach life in a fresh way, starting on a positive note.
So back to my stove, my friend is coming to visit me tonight. We’re probably gonna play some fifa soccer on my Xbox. I will cook us some delicious burgers. And more than likely, we won’t get burnt.
Hmm, what’s cooking?
(Thanks for reading.)