- diving board - The church is a springboard for us to use to dive into the world with the love & grace of Jesus Christ. It does no good for us to sit on the board - we never get the pleasure of splashing in the world God created... and we never touch those who live there.
- emergency room - Everybody without exception has some kind of injury - physical, mental, spiritual, emotional. No one has "arrived"... and so, just like a hospital emergency room, people in varying states of fear, frustration & need mix together, seeking hope & healing.
- convenience store - Convenience stores aren't convenient for the people who work in them - who in their right mind wants to sell beer & candy to people in the middle of the night while worrying about some nutball trying to rip off the register for a hundred bucks & change?! Convenience stores are convenient for the customer. In the same way, churches shouldn't be convenient for the members but for the people who need Jesus.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14, NLT)Or, to shorten it up a bit (and U2 it at the same time), don't let yourself get "stuck in a moment." Ask God for help to get unstuck... maybe something like this: Jesus, it is so hard for me to let go of the past hurts & wounds inflicted on me & others by people who claimed to be Your followers. It feels like trapped like a fly in amber... melt the memories and warm my heart, Jesus. Give me the ability to make more steps toward You and Your people, the church. In Your name, amen.