Alden lives in Newport Beach, CA. He is one of my friends. He is six. His dad, Spencer, refers to their home as the ?Beachshack.? The ocean is just a couple of blocks from the Beachshack. Alden has made friends with a man who has a fishing boat. Soon he will be going out on the boat to catch whatever the guide directs them to. He visited the pier the morning I arrived for a short visit. He brought home some goodies.
Boiling in a pot on the stove ? crabs! Fresh crabs! Soon Alden was on the patio eager to get to some crabmeat. Tommie would be jealous. Crab meet is her favorite. She and Alden would work well together. At any rate, we sat out on the patio cracking crab legs and pinchers mining for some wonderfully tasty fresh crab.
Hard work for such a little bit of meat. Carefully and tediously Alden worked. Diligent to be sure no shell got into his bowl of crabmeat. He stayed after it. The mess would require a hose. The fun lay in the process. He knew we would have crabmeat. He knew it would not be much. The energy came from learning how to use his new special ?crab? hammer. How would he keep from severely crushing the crab legs making it nearly impossible to mine any meat? How would he find the patience to crack the small legs when the big ones held much more hope? Would anyone participate and share in his small meal and mark the moment joyfully?
We often long to avoid the process of conversion. We sit comfortably knowing we have gained the end ? Heaven! The Apostle Paul gives us a charge to ?work out our salvation with fear and trembling.? We are not working to earn ? that is an attitude. We are working to express what is at work in us. When we fail to work to express what is in us it calls into question just what is in us ? if anything? Jesus describes this activity as ?fruit bearing.? Bearing fruit brings us into full contact with the process.
I now wonder ? examining our lives both individually and in community, what are we bearing? Are we celebrating the end without engaging the process of transformation and mission for the sake of the world? Are we creating a Christina ghetto?