Posted on 21 August 2014.
Cedar Springs United Methodist Church
140 S. Main St.
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
Romans 12:3-6: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…”
Many may think that Christians have more rules to follow than other members of our society. Yes, we have a call to live a different kind of life, but we should not consider the guidelines presented in scripture to be a burden, but instead, a blessing.
Picture, a train on Main Street right here in Cedar Springs. You notice that it is sitting on the street as it prepares to start moving. The city street is paved with asphalt with concrete curbs. The conductor yells, “all aboard,” and the train begins to move. The smoke billows out of the stack and we can hear the noise of this great machine. But, as the wheels begin to turn, what do you think happens? Those great steel wheels, which are designed to sit on rails, begin to tear into the asphalt. It may be able to make some progress up the street, but it is not very efficient.
A train is designed to travel on rails. Without the steel tracks to guide it, the train cannot operate, and will likely damage itself and the road. And the tracks, with no train to ride on them, are only useful as scrap iron.
Isn’t that how it is with us today? God designed us for a special purpose. We are meant to live our lives within “the tracks” that the Master has laid out for us, to guide us. Humanity was meant to be in community with God and to live within God’s plan as explained in the scriptures. When we live within the plan, we can be what we are meant to be. Like a train that travels on railroad tracks, we can reach our full potential, and be most like what God designed us to be, when we live within His plan for our lives.
Continuing with our train analogy, the engine would not have much of a purpose without cars for passengers or freight. They all are connected and work together to meet a common goal. And so it is with us. Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that we are all part of that same body—the body of Christ. When we are connected to him, and conform ourselves and our community according to the standards that we were designed to live in, we can reach our full potential. We were designed to be in community—in perfect community—with God and with each other. Our relationship with God was disrupted by the fall and so were our relationships with each other. But now, through Christ, we can find ourselves placed back on those train tracks.
I encourage you to allow the Spirit to act upon your life. It is my hope and prayer that you seek to be the train that God designed you to be, living up to your full potential by living within the rails and following where the tracks lead you.