Thursday, October 21, 2010

Holy Cow!

I recently came back from a mission’s trip to India, the home of the sacred white cows. The picture that I’ve posted was taken in Rajahamundry India, home to more than 3.5 million people.

Walking through the downtown market place is one of the sacred cows that can be seen everywhere in India. These cows are considered sacred in the Hindu religion. They cannot be killed or eaten. They are allowed to wander everywhere and eat whatever looks tasty. It has been hypothesized that these bovines are part of the cause of poverty and lack of food in one of the most populous countries of the world.

These sacred cows have become symbolic of issues that need to be address but are untouchable because they are considered sacrosanct. A couple of years ago I asked the leadership of a church if they could identify their sacred cows. I was assured that they didn’t have any. I told them that all organizations had them especially an organization that had been around for over a 100 years. I told them not to worry that I was sure I would find their sacred cows if I became their pastor.

Boy did I!

Often sacred cows grow as an organization ages. Traditions and liturgy (the way that we do things) can become codified over time and the result is that we get locked into the past because it either it previously worked or it gives us comfort due to its familiarity.

The problem is that it chokes out creativity and the saps our ability to meet new challenges. Much like the sacred cows of India our hands are tied to the past and we starve for lack of nutrition, even though there is plenty of beef to go around.

Perhaps it’s time to hold a sacred Bar-B-Q!

Please pass the sauce

Pastor Val.