Just for the record, I have an exceeding dislike for that word, “sustainable.” It is a green word, organic, glutin free, not tested on animals, vegan. Anything “sustainable” must be virtuous and good, so we slap “sustainable” on just about everything we wish to sell.
However, it’s still the most suitable word for what I wish to speak about, a word that means, “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level,” or “able to be upheld or defended.” Some synonyms are well founded, justified, sound, reliable. Those are words that mean, it’s still going to be around a few years from now.
I’m in a strange position right now, every area of my life, culture, family, community, work, church, needs to change. It either takes some genuine hubris, or some genuine wisdom to declare such a thing. I’m going to declare it just the same.
It needs to change because it is not sustainable, because it is past it’s pull date, because it has grown all toxic and stinky. A woman recently spoke to me about her frustrations over trying to clean the pantry out at church. This can of green beans expired in 1989, it is dead, LET IT GO!
Exactly. Just like that. I was really blessed by her frustration, validated by her angst, because yes, it is just like that, it is just like trying to pry 30 year old expired green beans out of someone’s cold, dead hands.
For those linear thinkers out there, it’s never about the dishes left by the sink or the can of expired green beans. She quietly left our church, completely unnoticed, completely unmissed, all because a 30 year old can of green beans was more important then she was.
She left because that can of expired green beans was perceived as having more worth and value to the church then she did. Because that church had people’s egos invested in a way of doing things that did not allow any room for growth. They did not understand that you must make space for other people to come into your circle and change things up.
Making space. That’s one reason why we clean out what is no longer useful, to make space for what is new. Flat out in this world, you’re either growing or you’re dying. If you are dying, you are unsustainable. If you’re dying the end is nigh and it is inevitable.
The church that woman left is my church. She is one of many, many I have watched over the years come and go, go because she slammed into that all powerful wall of resistance, that refusal to let go of anyone’s churchian territory and allow others room to come in.
So she quietly left her church, completely unnoticed, completely unmissed…..