Have you ever had a life-changing moment that didn’t change your life? In the moment, you were sold out, on-fire, motivated to … get organized, start a new business, give it all up and go into ministry, transform your strained relationships into new ones., and instead of reordering your household, just rearranged the furniture.
Pastor Brad talked about that very thing yesterday in worship, the times we have let excitement for change and growth dwindle. It look me way, way back, to last weekend, in a gift shop on the beach, watching the hermit crabs.
Their shells were painted in bright colors, some shells were designed to look like the Green Lantern, soccer balls and others like a hamburger. My kids stood for a good, long while trying to determine which they should take home (hint… none of them).
Hermit crabs have soft abdomens. They cannot exist outside their shells, because any piece of debris might puncture that defenseless body.
Hermit crabs come in a variety of sizes. Once believed to be short-lived pets, hermit crabs can actually live up to 20+ years, but they have to keep moving on up to a larger shell, or they will die, cramped into a space that is too small.
Once thought to be solitary creatures, hermit crabs thrive on community, where crabs line up at a potential new home, largest to smallest. As the largest vacates its shell for a new one, the next crab steps up to take over HIS shell and so on down the line.
We can learn a lot about growth and change and living in a community from hermit crabs. We might also learn from the early Church, but whichever epistemological catalyst works for you….
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:44-47
When you do more than rearrange the furniture, when you throw off things that hinder you (possessions, buildings, unnecessary time drains), growth is possible. Living in community means that the answers to basic needs can be provided. Sometimes it takes stepping out of the safety of your shell to move to the next phase of your development.
What do you have to pass on to the smaller crabs behind you? What big change do you need to step out in faith, today, to make?