This morning, my friend Chad (and his plott hound, Lucy) and I grabbed coffee and muffins at Panera... and he and Lucy took me to Shearon Harris Park which sits beautifully along Jordan Lake near Apex, NC (20 mins from Raleigh).
The scenery was beautiful. The temperature (as Chad pointed out) about 10 degrees cooler due to the abundant shade. I was telling him about how tempting it is to be jealous of those who's church or ministry is "successful" while our new church community is still in its infancy. I said, "it is so easy to focus on all the things that can or should be 'done' to push this new community toward growth and development". We talked about God-given, organic growth and man-made, manufactured growth.
Then Chad (who had something divine up his sleeve) led us down a path at the park (after asking me if I was afraid of snakes - to which I replied "of course not") that revealed a bit of the natural wonder of the creation of God. After turning a corner we were led down another path that opened up into a huge field where power lines were suspended by huge steel structures. Chad told me to look to my right and for the first time in my life I saw a nuclear power plant in the distance. It was impressive, blowing it's white, puffy smoke into the air like an old man with a pipe hanging from his lips.
We briefly spoke about the impressiveness of man-made structures vs. the awe of God's creation. I think of it now as a sort of "divine dichotomy"... because God gives man the ability to create man-made (or, not to be sexist, "human-made") structures (eg. the tower of Babel). That moment was etched in my mind and I think it will stay there for years to come.
While the nuke site was pretty remarkable and the power that exhales from it extends to much of the state, I asked God to help me to be amazed by His creation and what comes from His hand more than what derives from the hands of humanity. I asked Him to help me lead our community by making sure we position ourselves to grow organically as God's creation does.
This afternoon I thought of the words of the apostle Paul, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow." I thought of how easy it is to think we can do God's part (the growing). But, I pray that I am continually reminded that I (and others) have the capability of planting and watering, but only God can make things grow.
28 July 2007
24 July 2007
My best friend recommemded that I read "The Emotionally Healthy Church" by Pete Scazzero. I am very glad he did. As I read I am getting the sense that I will be referring to the thoughts and ideas that Pete shares in it's pages for a long time to come.
I have had several conversations with my sister over the past couple years regarding emotional health. I have told her that I feel like I am still an adolescent in certain areas of my life or when I am in certain situations. This book is serving to clarify why this is the case for me.
I would like to think that I will finish this book in the next few days and will magically become 100% emotionally healthy, but my heart tells me this will be a long, ongoing process. Even though I was not aware of the contents of this book until recently I can look back over the past couple years and see that God has been drawing my attention to the need for emotional health... and I realize that He has begun a deep work in my emotions.
This has been painful at times... and may continue to be so. But, I have to trust that He knows what He is doing. Let the process continue...
Posted by Bill Cummings at 2:49 PM