Wednesday, August 25, 2010


My Starbucks by the beach is being renovated this week and the evidence is all around me this morning. The good news is that, so far, my chair is still here. I’m guessing that they could tear the place down around me and as long as I still have my chair and my coffee I’d survive the change. On week 2 of my sabbatical, it kind of resembles what I might look like on the inside while I attempt some renovation time of my own. From my own DIY projects I have learned that renovation goes through phases. There is demolition. There are glimpses of vision of what the project may look like. There is the reality of the mess that things become and the feeling that it might get worse before it gets better, and then…..
Then out of the dust and primer rises the completed, dreamed about, picture of what was intended in the first place.
The key to the process is having the vision of the finished product in the first place and being able to hold on to that vision even when all the dust, clutter, and noise threaten to consume you. As I type this out I am realizing what an adventurous journey of faith that this can become. An honest look at this tells me that I’m still in the demolition phase. This time, like any other renovation project, hasn’t exactly gone as planned. I have had more than enough dust, noise, and clutter to cloud things and I haven’t really done much of it myself. Life tends to be like that. For all of my intentions of getting away from life, it has this way of following me anyway. So like any other contractor type, I adjust the budget and thew schedule and move on.
As part of this process I’ve been reading a book by Erwin McManus which I’m sure was part of a divinely inspired plan for this time in my life. Now I have taught people in my community o’ faith that when you are studying the Book of Books, in each particular section you are studying, there is most likely something that you need to resolve before you move on. God has something there for you and you need to resolve what it is and what you intend to do with it before you move on. Most of us tend to miss it, ignore it, or forget it, and therefore lose the message. Even though Erwin’s book is not of this magnitude, I have encountered something that I cannot shake and it must be resolved before I can fully move on.
In a discussion about the power, impact, and necessity of humility for great leadership to happen he asks this question; “ Is anonymity too high a price to pay for significance?”. In other words, would I pour my life into an attempt at significance if no one would ever know about it? If changing my part of the world meant that my name would never be acknowledged, would I even bother? Try as I might, I can’t seem to shake this question. Do I want to make this world a better place, or do I want people to know that I tried to make this world a better place? It might seem like a small and subtle difference, and frankly some of you might not get it at all, but it is the last vertical climb for me before I reach the summit of this time of my life. I don’t know what the answer will be on top, but I know that to move on I am probably going to have to have an answer.
Just the fact that I am writing this in a blog post for all to see can give you some insight into the dilemma. I used to think that, through my writing, people might be able to connect with something within themselves that would cause them to wrestle with their own lives and faith issues. Is that really the motive for letting people get into my brain? Would I still do this if the blog post were anonymous? I’d love to be able to say that, in the end, I’d have the noble greater good of mankind in mind as I move forward in my path as pastoral artist. I may be able to say that. I may not. It really doesn’t matter at this point. Chances are, like most things it is somewhere in the middle. In the end, I’m just looking for honesty. I’ll let you know.

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