You put your right foot in,You put your right foot out,
You put your right foot in and you shake it all about,
You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around,
That’s what it’s all about!
Could it be that the Hokey Pokey is the fulfillment of our lives here on earth? It’s all some big cosmic game, stick your foot out there, do a little dance and boom, you’re worm food. Many people in our culture live their lives as one big hokey pokey. Let’s just have some fun before the game ends. We argue that we evolve from some prehistoric swamp, live out our existence, survival of the fittest, last man standing wins.
What a way to live! People of faith know better, right? We understand there is so much more out there than just our daily existence. We acknowledge a “Higher Power.” We ask questions like “How can people live their lives without the hope of eternity?” We recite Eccleciastes 3:11 that says “He has put eternity in their hearts.” BUT, do we live like we believe it? I admit that I do not live my beliefs with consistency. I know the Truth, but I don’t always live it. Why is that? The reason is SIN. Sin is what causes me to do the Hokey Pokey instead of living a life of obedience. Sin is fun for a season, as long as we can keep the game going. But eventually the game ends and someone loses. That someone is me. I never win the game of sin. But still I wrestle with that voice that keeps encouraging me to play.
So what do we do? Everyone wants to play Hokey Pokey, but no one wants to lose. Some of us think, well if I can find enough people to keep playing, then no one has to lose, cause the game will never end. They surround themselves with others who live similar lives of denial, acting out without considering the consequences. We see it all around us, bars and clubs filled with people who have the philosophy of “don’t ask, don’t tell, I’m okay, you’re okay, please accept me as I am and don’t expect me to take responsibility for my actions and I’ll do the same for you.” Not only bars and clubs are filled with this, but so are some churches. These churches, in an effort to meet people where they live, find themselves filled with people who never find the transforming power of God, because they have decided to tolerate all kinds of sin, instead of repenting from it and helping each other stay healthy.
So my question is this, how can a church help people who are caught up in the games, but unable or unwilling to quit by themselves, without getting swept into the game as well? Is it more programs? accountability groups? more fire and brimstone preaching? more practical teaching? newer facilities? a cool name? Some of these things may address some of the issues, some of the time. But the only real solution is the power of the Holy Spirit. We can only succeed in our own power and our own creativity for so long before things start to unravel. The only lasting, sustaining, consistent power is the power of God.
Nothing, not even the gates of hell, can defeat the church that is empowered with the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 16:18) My prayer is that the people in our churches can quit playing the game of life and really start living the life that God intended for us. A “Spirit empowered, grace-filled, transparent and honest, obedient driven, abundantly blessed, contagious and inclusive God honoring struggle, totally and utterly dependent on Christ, filled with gratitude and praise” kind of life. Can you dig it?!