I was watching the movie Pleasantville recently; a movie about how bland life can be when it’s lost its true meaning, and when you hide behind niceness and masks that tend to cover up reality.
There was a dramatic moment in which a tree had caught on fire. A young man went rushing into the fire department and screamed, “Fire, fire, fire!” And the firemen did nothing. They sat there and looked at him in bewilderment. All they’d been used to doing was going and getting cats out of trees.
So these firemen had never seen fire. They’d heard about it, studied about it, trained for it, but had never really been to a fire. For them, all they’d ever done was rescue cats. So all they ever thought they were supposed to do was rescue a cat, and naturally, they didn’t respond. In frustration the man, instead stopped screaming fire, and started screaming, “Cat, cat, cat!” And all of a sudden the firemen burst into action.
I wonder sometimes if that isn’t what we do in our churches. We’ve heard about the gospel, we’ve heard about the life change, we know it happens, we know Jesus is good, and real, and here, and active, but we haven’t experienced His presence and power in so long that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to fall under the fire of His presence and the joy of His grace.
Remember what your purpose is. Is it to rescue cats, or to go and put out fires? There’s a big difference in those two.