Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)
TITLE: Five Month Search
By Joanney Uthe
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In real estate, they say the most important features are “Location, location and location.” In our search, though important, location ranked much lower on the list. We had experienced the convenience of being close enough to walk and the sacrifice of driving 20 miles. Yet location necessitated our search.
Shopping for clothes, one goes to the rack that holds their size. Size could not determine proper fit in our search. We had experienced the benefits of added features if we choose big and the benefits of personal accountability if we choose small. Each one exhibited a unique set of advantages and disadvantages, regardless of its size.
When one walks into a restaurant chain and orders their favorite item, they expect it to be the same in every store. In our search, each one is tailor-made and so unique that chain affiliation is only a guideline. How they execute the chain’s regulations varies as they emphasis the differences in clientele. We used this as a starting point, knowing it did not guarantee anything.
Stores and businesses rely on their employees to keep the customers once they first do business with them. In our search, the employees made less impact than the rest of the clientele. Our connection to them determined our decision as much as our connection to the manager and staff.
Color and style determine purchases of many kinds, yet they were irrelevant in our search. We were not looking for fluff and outward beauty. What we needed was challenge. Challenge to apply to our lives what we brought home. Challenge to be involved in the way God designed us to be involved. Challenge to make a difference in our sphere of influence.
We actively shopped for five months before we found the right church. Sometimes we could tell right away if it was not the right fit, other times it took weeks. We discussed the strengths of each church we visited, comparing their theology to our understanding of Scripture and asking a pastor friend for advice on those points we did not understand. We talked to the pastor at each church, asking as many questions as we could. We found that certain questions served as a litmus test. If the pastor avoided the question, his sermons tended to be fluff, catering to the people’s comfort level rather than allowing God’s Word to convict.
Six months ago, we moved to a new community. After five months of church shopping, we decided on a church home and I am starting to feel at home in my new town.
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