Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

On this page, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. You can also find them on the church's YouTube Channel in the "Weekly Word" playlist. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

09/26/2016 9:47 PM

Suburban Paradise?

09/26/2016 9:47 PM
09/26/2016 9:47 PM

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8)

Over half of all Americans now live in the suburbs, so whether you are a suburbanite or not, your life has been affected by the suburban movement. I grew up in an old suburb of Dallas that had been swallowed up by the city, but I now live in a new suburb. It is much different from where I grew up. When my family moved to Murphy, Texas, traffic was manageable. In fact, between the morning and evening rush, the streets were eerily empty. I liked to joke that I could lie down on Plano Parkway at 9am and not get run over until 5pm. I can’t say that anymore. What brought all these people here? What are we looking for?

“The suburban life is a spiritual quest,” says author Albert Hsu. He goes on to talk about how we are all looking for something, likening us to nomads like Abraham and Moses who set out seeking a land God had promised. We are searchers, seekers, and journey-folk at heart, and the suburbs are simply our most recent version of the spiritual quest we have always been on. The suburbs often hold out the promise of paradise. You can have it all in the suburbs. It is an empty promise.

One lesson that living in the suburbs can teach us is a lesson in losing control. It is the same lesson Abraham faithfully learned in his own journey. As my friend Karl Travis puts it, “Faith strips us of the illusion that we are in charge.” I hate to break it to you, but as much as we crave it, we are not in control. We’re just not, and no grand community plan will prove otherwise. So when you discover that the life you find yourself in isn’t quite what it was promised to be, may you be pointed right back to the God who is in charge.

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