We’re staying at the Galt House, which I found to be a little symbolic of the Church in America.
Bear with me here . . .
Like the Church in America, the Galt House has been around for many years, but is in a state of restoration. All of the rooms are clean, safe, and comfortable, but some rooms are modern and some are not.
I’m staying on the 14th Floor and it’s really nice. Our room has new furniture, new carpet, contemporary pictures of Louisville, fresh paint, and smells new. It is really modern and we really like it.
It wasn’t until we visited my brother-in-law’s room last night that we realized that not all of the rooms in the Galt House are as modern as ours.
When we got off the elevator on the 4th Floor the first difference we noticed was the smell. The 14th Floor—where our room is—smells nice, but the 4th Floor smelled to me and my wife like a nursing home. The 4th Floor has dark paneling and antique furniture, that is nice and clean, but it’s also old and creates a different feeling than our modern furniture on the 14th Floor evokes in us.
We didn’t really feel comfortable on the 4th Floor and were eager to get back to the modernity we had grown accustomed to on the 14th.
We met a friend at the food court in the mall and he mentioned he’s staying at the Galt House, too, so I asked, “How do you like it?”
“It’s a dump!” he replied.
He’s staying on the 4th Floor. Restoration hasn’t reached him, yet. I didn’t want to discourage him even more, so I didn’t mention how much we love our life on the 14th.
I met a man yesterday who’s staying on the 4th and he loves it. It’s all he’s ever known and he’s so grateful to have a clean, safe, and comfortable room.
I travel a lot and visit a lot of churches around this country. The Church in America is in a state of restoration. From what I’ve seen, some congregations are “14th Floor” congregations and some are “4th Floor” churches.
Some are modern; some smell like a nursing home.
Some of the people in “4th Floor” churches are happy and grateful for a clean, safe, comfortable place in which to worship God, some are not and feel as if their reality is a “dump.”
If you belong to a “4th Floor” or a “14th Floor” congregation and you are happy—good for you.
If you belong to a 4th Floor congregation and you are unhappy because you’ve seen the 14th Floor and that’s where you want to be, then you just need to be patient, because the Church—just like the Galt House—is in a state of restoration and as long as the Church in America is in a state of restoration there will always be hope.
Restoration may not have reached you yet, but—be hopeful—it’s coming.