Monday, 7 March 2016

Getting it done or savouring the journey

In every crisis, there is a push to put in place strategies that will move things swiftly into safer waters. One of the luxuries in Path of Renewal is the resistance to mapping the journey in advance. Instead, space is being created to listen for the voice of God and to discern the Spirit at work. Without the pressure to deliver a solution, creativity is awakened and discovery of new ways is more than a possibility.
Reflecting on this gift I was reminded of a story Henri Nouwen told of his work with L'Arche community:
... this afternoon, I went apple picking with Janice, Carol, Adam, Rose and their assistants. MY attitude was to get the apples picked, put them in bags and go home. But I soon learned all of that was much less important than to help Rose pick one or two apples, to walk with Janice looking for apples that hang low enough so that she herself can reach them, to compliment Carol on her ability to find good apples, and just to sit beside Adam in his wheelchair under an apple tree and give him a sense of belonging to a group... Efficiency is not the most important word - care is.
(Road to Daybreak p28)
When our task is about changing a mindset and a culture, a lot of the work is intuitive, directed, not by guidelines but by gentle nudges and prompting of God. What we learn along the way, the people and the experiences we encounter take precedence over designing a route. What we discover will not be empirical but will be kingdom work.
God has led people this way in the past:
Numbers 9:22-23
Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, resting upon it, the Israelites would remain in camp and would not set out; but when it lifted they would set out. At the command of the Lord they would camp, and at the command of the Lord they would set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.
The waiting on God is not a time for idleness but a time of waking and of discovery, a time in which to grow more attuned to that gentle whisper of God inviting us in this time and place to develop new kingdom awareness. While that is difficult for those who prefer more order and direction and a gift for those who are more comfortable with mess and unpredictability, for both, it is a time to respond to God given opportunity in obedience, inspired by the people of God in all ages.

1 comment:

  1. This is just so right for the time we're at, Liz. While my group are all at differing preparatory stages, I'm encouraging them to take time in forming their teams or pilot projects to discern what's appropriate for their very particular contexts.