Is there anybody else out there who remembers Meccano?
As a small child, I was given a Meccano set complete with spanner, screwdriver and set of instructions. With a set of drawings and ambition on my side. I turned to the back of the book, skipping all the boring simple models and set out to build a model of a Harrier Jump Jet!
There were a few problems with my attempts.
Firstly, I lacked the skill required to build it – I had the blueprint but, I had never built Meccano before. Instead of starting with something more straightforward, I got consumed by my ambition to build something that I wanted and I wasn’t patient enough to learn.
Secondly, I didn’t have the right tools. To build the model of the jump jet, I needed a hammer, vice and pliers in order to twist the Meccano into the desired shape. They did not come with the Meccano set. Thirdly, I did not have enough components. If I had read the instructions properly, I would have understood that I needed more sheets and struts of Meccano steel than I had.
My attempts at building my Harrier Jump Jet Model never really got off the drawing board and I soon became frustrated with Meccano!
I wonder if you can identify with that? Oh it need not necessarily be a Meccano model. We try and build a DIY bookcase, or wardrobe or anything really and make a mess of it – I tried a coffee table once (just the once – never again). We try and build friendships, or relationships with people and find ourselves being hurt. We try and build trust with people, only to discover they are not trustworthy.
There is a song we sing in Church that I have been thinking about today :-
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace; here the love of Christ shall end divisions:
All are welcome,all are welcome, all are welcome in this place. (Marty Haugen)
I truly believe that this is what Church should be about. But, like my Meccano set, it can be more than a little frustrating!
I suppose I could use a variety of analogies from my Meccano experience and liken that to Church. However, I missed one crucial element out of my Meccano failure. You see, the fourth (and main reason) why I failed was, I never asked my dad for help! If I had asked him, I am certain he could have built it and he would have given me the great joy of being able to work alongside him.
I think this is a lesson we need to learn in Churches.
We cannot build this wonderful, grace filled and grace fuelled community on our own. So many have tried in the past, and got frustrated. We need to start asking our Heavenly Father for help. As we do, not only will He help us, He will also give us the great joy of letting us work alongside Him.
It’s a cliché, I know
But that doesn’t make it any less true!