July 20th 2009

Size Is Like Time

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?”
Luke 14:28 (NLT)

How often do we find ourselves searching for just the right size in something we want or need?
When we try on shoes or a shirt, we look for the right size, but the issue applies to other areas of our lives as well.

How many people can I really know well? How many projects and jobs can I accomplish before I approach burnout? Questions of time and money management crop up: How much time should I spend at work, at play, on the Internet? How much money do I need to earn to be a responsible provider and yet a wise and generous steward? We wonder about the size of a group: What is the right size for a city? A school? A church? A family?

As I see it, the answer to all of these questions goes beyond mere numbers. Some families of three have more interpersonal fellowship than families of six; and some families of six notice and celebrate the uniqueness of each child more than families with only one child. There are single-parent families that have become the right size because faith, hope, and love have filled the empty place left by the missing parent.

We are the answer to the questions about size – if we care enough to take the place that only we can fill and then in friendliness reach out to the person on each side. When we do that, even the largest and most complicated gathering of people will be just the right size.

Size is like time; it comes down to a question of equilibrium and rhythm so that the answer lies in learning to balance large and small, fast and slow, many and few. Any size is right when we do the work it takes to know someone else by name and when someone knows our name. Then our families and our churches are just the right size.

George F. MacLeod, Presbyterian minister once said, “The Bible is all about community: from the Garden of Eden to the City at the end.”

Have you found the right size for your church? Your family? Your fellowship? Your circle of obligation?

Lord, thank you for including me in your forever family. I am grateful that you have invited men and women, girls and boys of all ages and races into the fellowship that shares the love and faithfulness of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Study by Fraser Murdoch