I had a pet crayfish, and his name was Oh, Snap. I called him Snap for short, and he lived in a little tank on my desk. I had bought Snap for nine cents from the seafood section of a grocery store. Snap was a lot of fun to watch. He’d swim backwards wildly, burrow in the gravel, or rearrange the rocks on the bottom of his tank. Sometimes I gave him small chunks of chicken for a treat. He was a busy and curious little creature.
Every month or so, Snap grew too big for his exoskeleton, or shell, and he would shed it and replace it with a new one. The old shell had to come off, because it was rigid and couldn’t grow the way skin does. If he didn’t shed his exoskeleton, Snap would die.
The whole process of molting is pretty amazing. The crayfish turns onto his back and starts fanning all his legs and pincers so he can get as much oxygen as he can. Then the shell cracks right behind his head, and after a brief struggle, a sudden movement will fling the old shell from the crayfish. At first the new shell is soft and vulnerable, but it soon becomes stronger.
I learned something important from Snap. Change can be stressful and can make us feel vulnerable, but if we are too rigid we can’t grow. The same applies to the church: Change is necessary.
We need to cast off our archaic ideas or behaviors and get rid of words and rules that hurt others. We need to shed our fears. We must step outside our walls to meet people where they are. Unless we cast off the rigid structure that constrains us, we cannot survive or grow.
What do you need to cast off today to make room for growth?
What does the church need to change in order to survive and thrive?
Be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.W.E.B. Du Bois