This morning I read only a few words into Matthew 15 before feeling that welcomed, compelling need to write. Jesus speaks to the religious and the legalists of his day when they balk at his actions, transformation over tradition.
My mind immediately goes to the challenge of aging, and the growing temptation for comfort over courage. Maybe it is not comfort as much as the fear of inadequacy, exacerbated by the inevitable fixed income and the memories of past economic disasters, an amorphous blend of wisdom and weakness.
Even I wish the road would level out at some point. However, transformation seems always to be uphill, challenging the core of our thought life and taxing the very fabric of our physical bodies, and sometimes tired minds, as we push forward. Actually the sense of push may be indicative of the loss of vision? Vision is not something you determine and then press into, vision is spiritual and compelling, pulling us forward, reducing the energy required for leadership.
However, when humans are distracted from vision and turn back toward status quo, apathy and criticism become most evident, over optimism and constructive change. Yet, these moments of chaos may actually be necessary for people to process change, reenergize and reconnect with vision; again a spiritual force that is not diminished during moments of chaos but simply awaits our reconnect…hope, faith, and love always remain.
How does one endure such hiatuses:living for the beyond! “In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world!” (Jesus). The statement“In this world” to the believer,implies another! The secret to renewal is leading for the now, living for the then!
We lead from a heart of love, while possessing the same tendencies for failure as those being led. In fact, we often fail in the heat of battle, say things that we would a thousand times regret, but we press on! The real challenge is not our failures, but living through the criticism of those “in the boat,” trapped by tradition, fear and the need for comfort; those who seldom intend to step outside and ride the waves, but always benefit from those who do.
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” –Helen Keller