Thursday, February 5, 2009

Of Mice, Cookies, Foxes, and Grapes

One of my favorite children's books is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. Basically, it's a story about what happens when you begin a small project that becomes a larger one.

If you give a mouse a cookie, she says, he's going to want a glass of milk. If you give him some milk, he's going to look in the mirror to see if he has a milk mustache. If he looks in the mirror, he'll notice he needs a trim. He'll need to borrow some scissors. If he borrows some scissors...

And so it goes.

And so it is with so many things in our lives, that once we begin them we find we're in for a bigger project than we anticipated.

So it is at home. So it is at church.

If you reach out to the community, you're going to find out that there are special needs out there. If you expand your ministries to meet those needs, you're going to have to ask people to become a bit more committed. If people become more committed and invest themselves in special needs ministries, people in the community will be touched by them. If people are touched by them, some of them will begin to attend your church. If enough new people begin to attend your church, you'll soon find that you're getting crowded in your existing facility. If you find yourself crowded, you'll need to build a new building. If you decide to build a new building, you're going to have to ask people to become even more committed...

And so it goes.
But I tell you, I'd rather deal with hungry mice than hungry foxes. The Bible says,

Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.
(Song of Songs 2:15)
This means that it's the little things that sneak in while you're not looking that make good things turn bad.

At church and at home, I've seen that this is true. It's all the little things we let go--those things that seem too small to worry about--that cause the worst problems.

Right now, our church is asking for AdMinistry volunteers. These are people who are willing to catch those little foxes. They are administrative helpers who realize that it's no small ministry to undertake those small tasks that might otherwise get neglected.

Sometimes we find that taking care of something that seems small is like giving a mouse a cookie. We end up with a bigger project than what we expected. But I'd rather deal with mice than little foxes, wouldn't you?

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