Floor Plans and Faith

greens_by_davespertine.jpg                Each summer of my school life was usually dominated by something. There were summers I spent babysitting, a couple I got to do some traveling, but most were spent in front of a computer. Now, before you say, “that’s so sad” you need to know that I love video games and learning from things on the internet. These summers, for me, were just as good as the ones I spent with tons of people or doing new things. One summer it felt like I spent most waking hours playing one game. If you’ve played this game, you know how addicting it can be. It’s very basic and can be very repetitive, but let me tell you, once you’re sucked into the world of The Sims, there’s no going back.

                My favorite things to do in The Sims are building and decorating houses. Yeah, I’d let the little Sims live their lives sometimes, but mostly I just want the game for the design aspect. I enjoy that profoundly. There are so many awesome things you can do with the houses and tools at your disposal. Plus, it’s all virtual so you can sometimes trick the game into having bits of the house be very unrealistic. That’s not usually how I play though; I take a very real world approach to my houses: size, rooms, items inside, etc. If you do end up playing the life aspect of the game some of these realistic details become important. The game will actually prompt you if you forget to, say, add a bathroom. You don’t want your Sims going on the carpet, after all.

                I’ve always liked houses, as a kid my mom and I would sometimes go to open houses just to walk through and see a new place. No surprise that she plays The Sims for the same reasons I do. Neither she nor I have cable at home, so when we go on our July vacation we always have an HGTV marathon. We just really like houses and decorating.

                All of these are probably reasons I responded so well to one particular method of Youth Ministry, it applies really well to faith life in general too. This method states that your youth program, or your faith, is like a house. For this blog, we’re going to focus on faith in general. So your faith, your relationship to God is like a house. Now houses have many rooms, this house has a foyer, a living room, a kitchen/dining room, and a bedroom. Each room is a point on your relationship to God.

                The foyer is right at the entrance to a house, just inside the front door. Lots of people can make it to the foyer. You might invite in a salesman to the foyer on a hot day. It’s polite. But the thing is, even strangers can come in the foyer. It’s impersonal; it doesn’t require any kind of commitment or relationship. It’s just a foyer.

                It doesn’t take much to make it from the foyer to the living room. Yes, the living room is a bit more personal, requires a bit more of a relationship and commitment to the person, but not a whole lot. Acquaintances and mutual friends can come in the living room. You sit, have a few drinks, chat, then… they go home. They know a little more about you, maybe you’ll invite them again, but if you don’t that’s ok, nothing lost really. Not until you get to the kitchen, anyway.

                The kitchen, or sometimes dining room, is where things start to happen. Sharing a meal with someone is more personal; Jesus shared a lot of meals with people because it drew them together. That kind of fellowship bonds people. We see families sharing a kitchen to make meals together. Kitchen often times says family. It’s more intimate, sharing meals and stories. It’s a deeper level here.

                The only thing more intimate than the kitchen is the bedroom. You only let the people you're closest with see your bedroom. It’s incredibly personal, and in a marriage it’s very intimate as well. Our bedrooms are reflections of ourselves, and we tend to only let the people we really trust and love into those spaces. That is the deepest part of the house, where you got to relax, be yourself, sleep. My bedroom is my personal space; I don’t let just anyone into it.

                You probably already see where I’m going with this. Each room of the house, as I said, is a point in your relationship with God. Sometimes we move from room to room, sometimes we get stuck in one. Ideally our relationship with God follows the obvious path from the foyer to the bedroom, but life isn’t so simple, is it? Sometimes we get knocked back to the foyer, or find too much safety in the living room. Maybe something really bad happened, and you’ve thrown Him out of the house entirely.

               We’re all at different places, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but God calls us to move forward. He wants us to love Him and trust him so much, to value our relationship with Him and move that relationship forward to the point where we invite Him into our most personal moments, in the pain and the joy, in the fear, in everything. He wants to be that close to us, but it does take a little work and trust. So… where is God in your house?



Picture by davespertine

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