I woke up this morning with a song in my brain, and it's a song I don't listen to, I don't have it on any of my play lists, and I don't even know the words to it, except a couple from the chorus, where the singer talks about some negative things in his life but chalks it up to family tradition.
I have a tradition of my own, just about every time I'm in a town with a Pappadeux Seafood Restaurant, I have to eat there, and I have to eat the same thing, fried crawfish tails.
Now, we can be like Hank sings about, and have some unfavorable things in our life that need correcting, or we can have a tradition that there's nothing corrupt about like favorite foods, or we can fall anywhere in-between. Traditions can be good, bad or neutral, but even if on the good end of the spectrum, can traditions be counterproductive to us?
What I'm trying to say is this, my Pappadeux tradition is fine, it's not sinful, not harmful, not anything, except limiting. They have this huge menu of wonderful food, yet I eat the same thing every single time. What am I missing? What else is there that is also not sinful, not harmful, not anything except delicious? Why do I limit myself to one thing when there are numerous more, all just as good?
Without a doubt, we get into ruts in life, we get comfortable with one thing or another. Because it's familiar, we come to perceive it as the best for us, and we know it better than other things, and we are used to it and anything different just doesn't feel right, even if it's not wrong at all.
In the church we do the exact same thing. There is nothing wrong with holding to wholesome, holy, beneficial traditions as long as they are pleasing to God, we know that. But we get uncomfortable when wholesome, holy and potentially beneficial new ideas surface. In a way that's good, because we need to be cautions about anything new, but new doesn't imply or warrant that it be unacceptable to God. Three songs and a prayer followed by one song then communion may be our tradition, but moving communion to after the sermon isn't wrong to God as He doesn't tell us where to put it. Yet we often see feathers ruffled when we change something like that. And the thought today isn't about the order of worship, it's about why we limit ourselves when God doesn't.
Why are we this way? Again, don't misunderstand, we must put everything under the microscope to see that it is pleasing and acceptable to God, but if it passes the test, why are we resistant? The things we are comfortable with, our traditional things, they had to pass that test at some point too didn't they? They were new at one time too. If God offers a buffet, why do we sometimes limit ourselves to fish and cornbread?
Just some food for thought today. God may have so many things out there for us that we could be doing, could be enjoying, could be using to His glory, that we are not because we always eat the same thing at the same restaurant!