I do a lot of traveling in my car. 315,000+ miles on it--all in the last 10 years. It's showing the kind of wear and tear you get from that many years and that many miles, but it still gets me where I need to go, and I'm either frugal or stubborn enough not to get a new (or new-to-me) car!
But there are many people around me who worry on a pretty regular basis about the "getting me there" part. They worry that I'll break down in a remote location. They worry that something will go out unexpectedly and cause a horrible accident, hurting either me or someone else. They worry that "getting there" might not happen.
I worry about that a lot in the church. I think and dream about where we can go and see so many steps inbetween there and here--steps that are financial, steps that are spiritual, steps that are emotional and steps that are procedural. I wonder if all the steps can take place and in what order they need to come. I tend to think a lot about these dreams, and I sometimes forget that I haven't laid out the maps and the hopes and the possibilities for everyone.
Sometimes that's because my dreaming seems scary to me--I'm willing to entertain ideas that if they were put out on the table I feel might cut of discussion or the ability to dream in other people. Sometimes it's just because I "go with the flow"--and the best ideas occur to me on the spur of the moment. Sometimes I share those thoughts and ideas with only a few people and forget that they need to be more widely shared.
And sometimes it's because I fear rejection. I fear what will happen if I know that an idea is good and it would work, but the back to the past crew invades and insists that it will never work and that I'm just a bad leader, not worthy of the task that I've been given. Intellectually, I know that these crews are sometimes wise in keeping things in check--sometimes allowing the dreamers like me to see something better. As Joseph, the dreamer, tells his brothers--"What you meant for evil, God meant for good." I'm not implying that the back to the past crew means evil, but sometimes the route that we take to God's good need to be a circuitous route that involves the back to the past crew.
And, of course, sometimes the back to the past crews are just that--those who don't want to move forward because they fear where they will be and what kind of place they will have. They fear they will not be powerful enough or that their voice won't be heard. It's those motives that make me less inclined to wait until the back to the past crew is satisfied.
But today I was reminded that I cannot continue to allow myself to only entertain thoughts of having to "get there" despite the ways in which I feel I (and other dreamers in the church!)are being held back. A person from my church who has a lot of wisdom reminded me that sometimes when I feel like the church isn't wanting to go anyplace that the church is simply trying to remind me that they want to go someplace, but they want to get there *together*.
Eventually, we may have to leave a few behind--not all of the Israelites who crossed over the Red Sea got to cross the Jordan into the promised land. Not even Moses (another, though less literal, dreamer-leader)! But they all traveled together, wandered together, listened for a word from God together, argued together and ate together. I want to remember that sometimes I need to make sure others are invited to the ride, fully strapped in, and let in on the panic, thrill and joy of Getting There...
which is when the real magic begins.
A Place at the Table
2 months ago