Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wait Up, I'm Your Leader!

Have you ever been in a meeting that went on forever?

I've seen them last far longer than necessary and at the same time accomplish very little.

Most people are willing to follow a leader if there is clear purpose and direction set that is congruent with their own sense of identity.

One of the things I enjoy is hiking.  I especially enjoy hiking at our United Methodist Canyon Camp which is located within the Red Rock Canyon chain in Oklahoma.  This is a great setting to see and most people don't realize the beauty available to us for only about an hour's drive.

At our various church camps, I have become notorious for exploring while taking youth hiking.  We may get off trail a little bit.  We sometimes see things I've not yet encountered.  Sometimes it even seems as if we are lost.

That's the interesting thing about the canyons.  I don't always know where we are specifically.  But I always have a sense of where we need to be.

In other words, we may be hiking a new trail, alongside a cliff.  There is no way down that we can see.  I know that we need to be on the other side of this valley - on the cliff opposite of us.

Are we lost?

Yes and no.

We are lost in the sense that I don't know a way down the valley and up the other side - yet.

But we know where we are in the sense that we know where we need to be.  The adventure comes in getting there!

It is inevitable that some don't enjoy this dichotomy.  They usually ask me more than once, "Are you lost?"

The unknown is fearful and this "adventure" may bring more anxiety than serenity.

Others are comfortable in the journey.  They are able to trust in me as a leader and see the wonder of new parts of the canyon they haven't seen before.
Going down?  The way from the top of the cliff to the bottom is not
always obvious and when we find one, we try it out!

Some are a little of both. They may need to go with me on an outing or two before they begin to trust me as a leader. They realize that I've always brought everyone back. No one has ever died on one of my hikes even though some playfully refer to them as "death hikes".

Sometimes trust just needs to be earned.

This is very similar to our gospel reading for Sunday from the lectionary.
Matthew 10:24-39 speaks of not being anxious at the same time that it speaks of conflict within the family!  So which is it Jesus?  Are we lost?

Yes and no.

The Christian faith is a journey that requires trust.  If you are in the Edmond area on Sunday morning, I hope that you'll join us for worship at 8:30 am or 11:00 am as we share in the journey together through this particular scripture.  We also have a smaller, more intimate worship service at 9:45 am where we celebrate Holy Communion.  In this alternate service, we will continue to look at the Trinity as we see God expressed as the Son.  May God's blessings abound in your life this week and if you get lost along the way, we'll help you find your way back to the path!

In Christ,


Picture by Madison Harry from North Oklahoma City District Camp 2009 at Canyon Camp

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