Traveling throughout Northern Minnesota looking for wildlife photography, I've come to enjoy certain communities which I visit from time to time. In a particular community, there is a man named Karlin. Karlin is a bit of a legend among the locals. Now, Karlin does not live in my community, and there are many Karlins in this world, but this Karlin is quite unique.
Karlin is a devout Christian, or so I am told. At church almost every time the church doors are open, Karlin is a cornerstone of his church. Karlin also likes to share his thoughts and beliefs about Christianity. Karlin makes sure that most every funeral in his community does not go unattended by himself. He feels it important that he be present. And, Karlin is willing to shake just about anyone's hand, engage in conversation, and smile!
There are a few other things Karlin is known for; common knowledge in fact. Karlin will do just about anything possible to get out of paying for a meal at a restaurant. Witnessed personally as I watched Karlin argue with a cashier one day, he emphatically stated, "I am such a good customer I shouldn't have to pay for this coffee!" People have also learned not to involved themselves with any matter regarding money; either purchasing from him or selling to him. If you don't get the money upfront from Karlin you will probably never see it. He also likes to peddle stuff that is well . . . not quite what he says it to be. One particular evening, Karlin drove his car into a ditch and after the towing service Karlin called pulled his car out, he refused to pay for the service. And, Karlin also is known for walking off with things that do not belong to him.
Karlin also is very critical of anyone who doesn't believe in Christianity quite the way he does. In fact, this seems to be one of his greatest legacies. Tragedy is that many people use Karlin as their reason they care little for church. Just this morning several hours ago after missing a beautiful shot of a Timber Wolf, I stopped by a place for coffee. A man I am acquainted with who knows I am a pastor said, "You know that Karlin . . . he's such a hypocrite!" Sometimes, I really hate being a pastor.
Thing is, Karlin is a hypocrite; no doubt here! And, the church I pastor has some Karlins in it too. But, really I must be careful about being too critical here . . . because; well . . . if I look deep down into my heart and soul I can see a little Karlin there too. We all possess a little Karlin in us; don't you think?
You see, church shouldn't be about Karlin or any other person for that matter. Church should be about Christ . . . cause He is the only One void of any Karlin in his life.
Just my thoughts.