In a previous post I mentioned Rachel Held Evans’ book, “Faith Unraveled” (It shows up in Good Reads as the original title, “Evolving in Monkey Town” – you can follow her blog here). In the book she relates a story about she and her sister adopting a pet box turtle as children. The turtle eventually brought her to a theological quandary: Who really gets to go to heaven? The Held girls, just as I did – although a “few” years ahead of them – grew up singing a great song about bullfrogs and butterflies. It’s an analogy of the new life we have in Christ, just like a caterpillar does as a butterfly and the tadpole does as a frog. The question her young mind asked was very honest: what about the turtle?
If something doesn’t fit the analogy, does it still have a place? The tadpole and turtle question may be obvious, but the contemporary western church has complicated the question in a real life sense. They have built a cultural mold that followers of Christ are supposed fit. The reality is that few people really do fit. As I’ve watched a few of my “neighbors” at the lake (see picture) over the last few months I’ve realized that I have been living as a turtle in a butterfly world.
We are given very few promises about heaven. There are two things we can count on: 1) We will be restored to the fellowship with God that he created us for and 2) We will be surprised when we see who else is there with us.
Personally, I’m struggling with the “church” question these days. I desire the fellowship and corporate worship with people who believe as I do and have a similar perception of God. The challenge is that my perception is morphing and I’m not sure exactly who those people will be or where to find them. In the meantime, I’m enjoying this personal time of growth and discovery.
I do preach to the turtles on occasion. I think the big guy on the right is about to come forward; I’m sure if he does the others will shortly follow!