The Word: We weren’t challenged. We didn’t grow.

Published 2:07 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

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I get to drive all over Southside Virginia as a hospice chaplain and meet new folks, pray with them and try to bring some smiles, humor, joy into the valleys they might be traveling through and the storms they’re facing. 

For the most part I drive in silence. This gives time to plan future sermons, lessons, devotions, etc., as well as, time to pray for needs within my church family, family-family, my communities and beyond. But…I can’t stand driving. I’ll ride shotgun all day and be the DJ, the GPS system, find places to eat with ease. I enjoy being the sidekick or co-pilot. I love finding places considered “hole in the wall” as they typically have the best food. Well, I had driven past this one “hole in the wall” old country store that had a sign outside advertising hotdogs, ice cream and other items. Every time I drove by this spot I thought it would be great. A good hotdog is a delicacy to me and one of my favorite lunch foods. 

Last week I finally pulled in to try this spot only to walk in and see no counter, no kitchen, no hot dogs anywhere. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. They sweet lady behind the register saw the look on my face and asked, “You looking for something and not seeing it?” Indeed I was. I told her how I kept seeing the old sign outside and was looking forward to some hotdogs for lunch to have her grin and say “It’s just an old sign. We haven’t had hotdogs for years. You’d be surprised how many folks stop by for one…and we just don’t sell them.” 

That got me thinking: How many times are we disappointed in life by things that look good but don’t deliver? Pre-packaged sandwiches (little flavor and cheap toppings), picnics (to have to then deal with heat and bugs), onesies (to struggle to remove when you gotta use the restroom, low-fat foods (go on…just enjoy the fats), and on and on we can go. 

Sadly some churches are this way. You show up to a nice building filled with tons of people and sadly leave not feeling like you were fed. You were entertained…but the Word fell flat or was lacking. We weren’t challenged. We didn’t grow. We weren’t drawn together as One Body. It’s as if we saw that old hotdog sign but weren’t allowed to eat. What do we do? Find a place that will feed you. You need to eat. You need substance. You need to grow. You need each other. Go. Get fed.(Hebrews 10:25) 

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at