Monday, November 13, 2006

Of House Guests and Lawn Moles...

Jen Leonard was with us at Dana Drive this weekend. In March, I was blown away by her story when she arose to speak at Palmer's memorial service. Hers is one that prods me to think about what it is that I have really sacrificed on this journey in our corner of the Kingdom here. I am moved to the conclusion that the only satisfactory answer to that was/is, not much. Or, at least, not enough.

Her story and the questions she is currently posing in regards to this way of life are resonating with me and Cathy, especially the "all or nothing" issue. For us, I think our path to this point has been inconsistently puctuated with only fleeting instances being completely "sold out," or, being "all in" (choose your analogous phrase here).

But I think there is worth in the tension of "not knowing." The core values of the Kingdom are at once tenously thin as spider webs in my white-knuckled grip as they are urging me deeper with a contingent fervor from beyond that Veil. The Father can be found in the not knowing of what's next, what I'll look like, how I'll be and what I'll do. He is just as much the God of my dim, dullness as he is of my (scarce) moments of X-ray clarity, is he not?

Im tired of complaining about what isn't right with my commitment level and others' for that matter. I'm tired of being disgusted with things and not doing something about it. I'm tired of pettiness in myself and others. I'm tired of a lifestyle of laxity and coziness with the way things "are." But it is me that's the problem- I'm the limitation. I can't be preoccupied with my observational discontent when I'm too sessile of a Kingdom co-laborer. I've got to lead by stepping out and risking something greater, something bolder.

I stand firm with the knowledge that I want to be with the people I am journeying with and the foundational, common denominator is living and loving in simple communities. From that, there is no retreat. But noticeably absent is the level of missional-mindedness that we find ourselves in. You know- the kind infused with passion, dreaming and Kingdom-originated envisioning. On the other hand, it might not be that there's such an absence of that mind. The challenge of connecting it to heart and behavior is more appropriate.

And I don't think that I'm brandishing a legalistic hot-iron here and I'm certainly not about imposing my perspective on others either. It's been months (years) in the making, but this is just a slice in my current stage of life and if I am game for it, there are widespread and wholesale implications for life and ministry. I am tilling this garden of transformation as feverishly as I've been hunting that dreaded, little lawn mole that's expertly converting my back yard to a tunneled spongework. Just today I was reminded of how both excursions are messy, dirty, lead in circles and sometimes involve getting a little doo on your shoe when you aren't watching where you walk.