In many large public places like malls and airports there is a map near the entrances. The map indicates the shops and services that are available. It will, for your convenience, indicate where you are on the map with a dot saying, “You Are Here.” If you want a new pair of shoes there will be a list of shoe stores and a way to find their locations. You Are Here, you want to get there, the map will show you how. Nice.
The Church doesn’t offer the same convenient service and thank God we don’t. I think that many people function within the Church community as if we are standing in front of a map telling us, “You Are Here,” wishing we were somewhere else. Often people tell me that they wish that they were more holy, more generous, more kind, more Christian, more like that person over there.
“More like that person over there.” I suppose we would all benefit from being more holy, generous, kind, Christian but my point is the person we would want to be more like is thinking he or she would like to be more like us. We suffer from a kind of envy that can lock us in place, preventing us from continuing our spiritual journeys.
My advice is to stop wishing we were somewhere else and enjoy that, “You Are Here.” Pretty soon we will find ourselves wandering around, checking out the more holy store, the more generous store, the more kind store, the more Christian store. I’m glad that You Are Here, but many people aren’t Here. Back to Church Sunday (September 21) is an opportunity to invite people to return to Church, to check us out for the first time, to explore their spiritual journey a bit more fully. And when they do, our role is to show them that we are nothing more than fellow travelers, seeking the Holy.