13 August, 2013

Challenge?

I need help with this. So, this quote is posted outside a local church on their streetside sign. The quote puzzles me precisely because it's outside a church. This quote, to me, begs more questions.
1.  Who is the "we"?
2.  Who's doing the inviting?
Being that it's a church I don't find this an enticing call to worship but believe that something along the lines of: We are constantly CHALLENGED to be better than who we are (or who we perceive ourselves to be) would be an improvement.  But then, that's just me. I require challenge and inspiration for growth and who am I, after all, to mess around with the words of the esteemed Henry David Thoreau? I have no idea why this bothers me so much, but it does. The more I have pondered this I have concluded that, perhaps, the invitation being issued is just to come... as we are... sinful, flawed, human beings; nothing more than that... come as we are (but be prepared to grow and be more, to be our BEST?). I don't know. Come to think of it, I suppose I've been challenged all along; but, when it comes to inspiration and a call to worship, I'll be relying another source, not  the words written by a nineteenth century transcendentalist but, instead, words from THE book! What are your thoughts?
Life is Good!

 

10 comments:

Little Penpen said...

Agree! We need God's word, not Henry David Thoreau's. That is a strange quote for a church sign...maybe they are trying to entice into church, the outdoorsy, hiking type of people who want Thoreau's lifestyle. I dunno...strange, yes.

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

So, using Thoreau as a jumping off place, I believe God is constantly inviting us to be who we can be. Wondering if the church is Unitarian Universalist . . . .

Quiltdivajulie said...

Perhaps the church is running a sermon series focused on honoring the congregations's true selves v. the facades of false pretenses, excessive ego, and materialistic trappings as their definitions?

An invitation to simply be themselves before the Lord? (a starting point on their journey)

Or maybe it is simply meant to make people stop and think . . .

julieQ said...

I too am curious about what denomination...maybe it was posted by someone who did not think deeply about it at all, but wanted everyone to just come as they are and know that they would be accepted? That is not what it really says, though. I don't know...it is thought provoking...

Sundae Quilter said...

When I read it this came to mind. In our society (in general) we are always told to 'be yourself'. However, in many ways we try to be something we are not and ignore the invitation to be who we truly are. Are we embarrassed or insecure about who we are? I don't know... perhaps in a small way. Being true to one's self is scary and, as human beings, we want to be accepted. If that means straying from who we are, then we find it necessary from time to time. I don't know. It is very early in the day to be this deep.

lindsey said...

I agree with you. When reading this quote it comes across to me for us to just be ourselves...which is fine of course, we shouldn't try to be someone else. But I agree with you in that we should be constantly looking for the challenge that God is putting before us to keep on growing more and more like Jesus and the way to do that IS by reading God's Word and spending time in His presence. Thank you for bringing this challenge to me today.

Karendianne said...

Oh gosh friend, I find this a thought-provoking opening and definitely an inspiring and intriguing call to worship. It feels comforting to be offered the opportunity to be my true self. Being our true selves, to be who we really are is a monumental task imho. There are so many masks and so much stuff we hide behind. Who are we really underneath it all? What is there, underneath it all but God.

Why is it that it feel so unsafe to be our true selves when what we find there is Him?

Just my take...

Janet O. said...

Taken at face value, I find it an easy excuse to not try to be better today than we were yesterday. Given some thought, I decided it could be that because God knows us better than we know ourselves, He knows our true potential and who we really are. He is inviting us to be that person. However, when you tack on the author's name, I doubt that was the intention.

karen a. said...

Sounds *new age* to me. However, I choose to think of it this way: We (Christians) are challenged by Christ, to be who we are in Him. In other words to behave as Christians!

LizA. said...

Hhm, interesting question and good discussion going here. I see your point and definitely agree with it. But, perhaps the church in question is trying to tell people that they are open minded about who or what you are and invite you anyway......