i'm at annual conference. i don't make any attempt to hide my true feelings about these annual gatherings of methodist clergy and lay people from the entire region: i'm not a huge fan. don't get me wrong, i enjoy the worship and the fellowship, but i grow quickly weary of endless reports and church red tape. more than that, i get really frustrated with how a body as large as this can't work very effeciently, in the midst of using roberts rules of order. we get sidetracked and bogged down in process and minutia until we've completely lost our focus and, in my opinion, often end up wasting our time.
i was feeling my frustration level rise like the mercury in the thermometer here in central pennsylvania yesterday as we were debating whether fracking is dangerous or not, making amendments to amendments and losing track of our focus when i suddenly read a tweet that someone wrote (i can't remember who it was, now), and it stopped me in my tracks. the tweet read simply: Lord, you make everything glorious.
God makes everything glorious. everything. if that doesn't send a chill down your spine and give you goosebumps, then you didn't really pay attention. in my theology it's called redemption. what it means is that God takes whatever is broken, whatever is ruined, whatever is off-track, whatever is ugly, whatever is hopeless, whatever is bogged-down and brought low, whatever is crushed and crippled - everything - and makes it right, makes it whole, makes it right, makes it beautiful, makes it glorious. even the mundane things. even the broken things. even roberts rules of order. even our broken, fractured conversatios, and our failed attempts at being the church. all of it. God takes it and breathes into it and turns it into something glorious.
which always leaves us with a choice. will we sit and comment on and complain about the brokenness? will we be snug in our cynicism? or will we lift our eyes to a different level, to see what glorious thing God is doing? today i choose to see the glorious. tomorrow (or even later today), i may need to pray to ask God to help me keep seeing it, as the conversation here at annual conference gets bogged down in beaurocratic blabber. but i will keep praying, keep asking, and keep looking, even in the midst of all the brokenness. because i believe in a God who takes what is broken and makes it glorious.