Chapter 2 – Order and Anxiety
Quickly it becomes clear that there are different mindsets operating going into the battle of Trafalgar. You have the Spanish still living in the past, operating under a system that has long been inefficient. Then there is the French way of thinking that has modernized at angles but without the systems to make any of the modernization effective. Social ranks and the hierarchy of the old win out over effectiveness and giftings. Finally there is the British way which is often referenced as a machine working in fine order. And let us not confuse this with modern machinery which is pure robotics. Nicolson says, “A ship contains a set of human machinery, in which every man is a wheel, a band, or a crank, all moving with wonderful regularity and precision to the will of the machinist – the all-powerful captain.” The weak are sifted out and the strong rise to the top and the result is a powerful force that is intimidating. With such an opposition it is no wonder that there was anxiety on the side of the Spanish and French. The parallels between this and what we experience in the church are numerous. For far too long we have had churches clinging to the way things use to be. Desiring to even go back to the “good ol’ days” when everyone was “civil” and people had manners and on and on. The paint is brushed on a canvas that is so thick in trying to describe this idealistic way of how things use to be that they completely forget that at one time “this old way” was revolutionary and offensive to those who went before them and also that “this old way” carries with it a truck load of obstacles and burdens that are being over looked. Basically I’m saying it wasn’t all that and a bag of chips like they would have us believe. Then you have those who are ok with going a new direction. They are open minded when it comes to new approaches or ideas as long as none of these new approaches or ideas remove them from power. That value is more in how you do things and not what you do and that how is rapped up in legalistic traditions that at one time served a purpose and were effective but now are more confusing, hampering, and counter productive. Finally you have a systematic approach that has a primary focus on achieving the objective. All resources are then streamlined and positioned for this purpose. Notice in the above quote that some were a wheel, some a band, and some a crank but “all moving” with precision. I feel as if this is a better analogy then the body for the church because you have some people who cop out and say they are an earlobe and serve no real purpose (someone will chime in with a purpose I’m sure). Yet with a ship metaphor each person is in motion with a specific task and further, this ship is in battle and it becomes all the easier to identify that the stakes are at the highest and further more then the previous further is that this crew on this ship serves on behalf of the King!
Gut check time – Are you dreaming of the old days gone by? Are you manipulating the latest innovations in a way that gives the appearance that you are trying but all the while making sure the power stays with you? Are you attempting to be all things to all people and leaving some out of the joy of the fight? Are there ways you need to establish more order and better systems? Are you fighting anxious thoughts? Are you fighting for the King?