I am not sure I have felt this much excitement, vision and urgency in years.
The urgency is likely my grasp of how fast life passes, and vision, well it has never been lacking; excitement comes and goes. However, when all three are there this "dog tends to hunt"!
The last time I felt this way, I had little to launch forward with and obligations that prohibited my "next" from a rational standpoint. I launched anyway and God provided miraculously, not only in resources, as that often came last. With my stepping out, and after two prior professional shifts, came new acquaintances, relationships, and opportunities before unforeseen.
My reason for writing is not just personal therapy, nor gathering material for another book, though that is happening. My reason is inspiration, your inspiration as a reader.
The greatest reward in my life has been the scores of relationships formed over time, often in my greatest moments of risk. Even this morning as I picked up my latest read, one written by a young man whom I met in early 2000, Chad Hall. His recent release, "The Weekly Leader" seems so timely, even in format, as it represents a 52 week journey for aspiring leaders.
As I write, my goal is to pull together 52 devotionals for the "Nones" in my life. By "Nones," I mean those next generation leaders who choose not to affiliate with any one denomination or even any one faith. They rather, are following the hunger of their hearts, making a practical difference in their communities. Some even recognize thier compelling drive as a spiritual calling, which I believe all true leadership to be!
Back to my friend, Chad and the beauty of knowing this author's journey and to the degree that his writings align with the person I have actually watched God develop over a couple of decades. You can't beat reading a book by someone you know personally. That's a hint!
As I began reading his book, my mind recalled this beautiful soul whom early own was involved with myself and several others in a movement to prepare ourselves as effective coaches. Back then, when our endeavor was mentioned, folk would ask, "What Sport?"
My pleasure now for almost three decades, has been to watch this movement mature, and a core of men and women who better than myself, have developed their craft and calling over the years. In this read, Chad shares cutting edge concepts for application in today's chaotic, swift changing culture, one that has left many a church congregation in the dust. God's timing is amazing.
As well, my leather backed companion is always awaiting my awakening each morning, and now has me in Lamentations.
Jeremiah was both a prophet and an under the radar national leader. I am more and more convinced that the underlying gift of the prophet, a spirit led vision is critical for effective leadership, though some leaders may not fully recognize the providence and timing behind their positional empowerment.
Jeremiah was in a transformational moment as Isreal would in his lifetime be taken captive, her best sons carried to Babylon, her least of potential, strategically left in the land.
Think Daniel, and his three Hebrew companions, "children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans." Daniel 1:4 KJV.
Part of the challenge of scripture in a transformational moment, especially in this case, if one takes Jeremiah's lament literally, it casts quite a wrathful image of God. Thus my reason for using the word transformational, as this was a moment for positioning this great nation for a new era, for soon God would become flesh, contrasting the reality of this One called Love, with the harsh, ritualistic throws of what religion had led them into. We too, in America may be right there, again!
There are two other books open in my house at the moment, one written by an unknown author, but referred by a trusted acquaintance of this politically astute, aspiring congress person, Denise Grace Gitsham.
Her book title says it all, "Politics For People Who Hate Politics." She is a leader fully in the fray, though acknowledging both the necessity of involvement and the challenge to one's character once engaged in this critical sector. I get that as a former political candidate and three term mayor.
Jeremiah had to have understood politics and likely given the acceptable and cruel treatment of day, carried some hatred for its destructive impact on his nation.
The other book, which I cited in my last post, written by a very contemplative Barbara Symons, is entitled, "Escaping Christianity, Finding Christ."
In one of her early chapters she quotes Paul, "He has made us competent as ministers of a new
covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Corinthians 3:6).
She then further details the basis for her sense that we now are in another such transformational moment as was Jeremiah, then Jesus, later Paul, and now we, in the late stages of the church age, held captive by centuries of dogma, some more human in origin than Divine.
"I am comparing the letter and the Spirit to literalism and mysticism. If we interpret the scriptures literally or by the letter, we are told that it brings death (and are we mortal?). If we interpret scriptures mystically or metaphorically we will find the secrets of immortal life hidden within the text."
She continues, "However, the early church slid into misconduct and control through fear and intimidation and
looked little like the New Testament Church. The Dark Ages emerged and the message of Jesus eventually became tainted with the blood of the Crusades. But just as a dormant seed springs to life with rain, the seed that has been planted in consciousness is
springing to life today."
I'll just leave you alone for now, to further ponder this loaded piece of revelation!