How Many Chairs

by Ray Reuter on September 21, 2017

Two pastors are talking, one of a fast-growing church, and another, a more seasoned pastor. The first pastor was telling the story of how the church had exploded, how they couldn’t stop the growth, how it was utterly out of their control, an inexplicable, unstoppable phenomenon. The seasoned pastor pushed him gently: “You’ve built this, and it’s okay to say that. You’ve intentionally and strategically built a very large church. It’s okay to say that.” The young pastor kept protesting, preferring the narrative of wild and unexplained growth. “We had nothing to do with it,” he insisted. “Well, not nothing,” said the older pastor. “You kept putting up more chairs.”

You mean it’s okay to stop putting up more chairs? I do not have to build, grow, create, expand? Bigger, more, faster may not be better? Really? We can choose to not “CostCo / Sam’s Club” our lives, our work?! Small batch cooking is okay.

My wife and I have recently enjoyed Blue Apron meals — just enough and exactly what we need for dinner for two people. Letting go of the bulk. Intentionally keeping something small. Deliberately doing something that is sufficient, slow, satisfying. You do have a say over the size of your life. How many chairs do you want to set up?

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