On A Hamster Wheel and Spinning Madly…

5 01 2011

Sometimes, I feel a bit like a hamster running frantically on a little metal wheel.

This weekend, I went to the City Museum, a zany and creative interactive playground in downtown St. Louis, with a few friends and some of my high school students. While there, I had the opportunity to actually jog in a glorified hamster wheel–a contraption I privately think of as “the DeathTrap”. It’s a large, wooden circle that rotates as fast as you can run in it–which, if you really get going, can be pretty darn fast.

Every time I’ve used this thing–usually with a few other people–I’ve ended up falling down and seriously bruising my knees on the hard wood planks and gigantic metal hinges.

Me, my husband, and my brother on the City Museum's wooden "DeathTrap" last spring...the boys may LOOK like they're happy, but we were all secretly fearing for our lives.

I don’t know how hamsters survive. Seriously. How do they get off of those maddening metal wheels?

Do they ever get off?

You can obviously tell I’ve never owned a hamster, right? I seem to have a lot of questions about their lifestyle…

So, back to this DeathTrap machine that skinned up both of my knees with surgical precision this Sunday afternoon. I really did feel like a hamster, frantically trying to keep myself upright while this machine rattled around faster and faster–I kid you not. The only thing missing was the cedar woodchips–which, frankly, are more interesting to me than the actual hamsters. 

Sometimes I wish my bedroom floor was coated in cedar woodchips. What a lovely scent that must be to wake up to each morning.

I digress, as usual.

Today, we had a staff meeting that totally sent me spinning, hamster-style, in a new direction. It’s exciting, confusing, uncertain, and exhilarating all at once. Our staff has a lot to discern and pray about in the coming months.

It’s still messy, and we all have lots of questions…but to me, the most important takeaway is that my church is willing to change in a time when the landscape of religion is definitely changing all over the world. I feel so fortunate to be a part of a staff that’s actively studying culture, striving to be influential and relevant in our communities and world, and is ready to take whatever steps necessary to reach people with the life-saving message of the Gospel–even if it means stepping away from everything we’ve always done, and all of the carefully crafted programs and events we’ve so meticulously created over the last several decades.

Somehow, God managed to place me perfectly at this church. It’s not a church that’s going to bury its head in the sand and let the world pass it by, becoming obsolete; rather, it’s a church that is seeking to understand what’s going on in the world and how it can still be relevant with an eternal truth that the world needs to hear.


I’m excited for the future of Faith, and I’m looking forward to the new directions that our church will be heading soon. I truly think that God is guiding us–in fact, I think that we’re heading the same direction that a lot of other churches and leaders in the Christian world are heading.

2011–it’s a whole new adventure.

The wheel’s already spinning, friends…




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