It's so great to be home, even though the rafting adventure was GREAT!
If you've never rafted, you should give it a try. This was my 4th trip down the Arkansas river. I've hit the Royal Gorge three times. This trip was much more leisurely, though. We had several beginners and one girl from our group who was 12 years old. So, we did Big Horn Canyon. As you can see by the picture, the Royal Gorge can be brutal. But Big Horn Canyon was two soild class III rapids and the rest was just floating at about 2450 cfs. I had a lot of time to enjoy and think as we just floated the 22 mile trip. And, as has happened a lot lately, my thoughts drifted back to Origins. In Romans 1, Paul reminds us that God's invisible qualities are revealed in His creation. The beauty of the canyon reminded me that we have a very creative Deity. Since we are created in His likeness, we are designed with this same creative bent. Too many people think that they must be artistic to be creative. The truth, though, is that as humans we are creative. All of us. We're just creative in different ways.
So, here's my dilema: it seems that much of what we do as a church looks like some sort of cloning of the world around us. I've mentioned this before (Cloning Culture), but with a different emphasis. As I think about this now, I realize that we stiffle the creativity of people by asking them to replicate safe versions of things we find in our culture, or to plug into our prepackaged model that someone else has had success with. As the body of Christ, we possess all the creativity we need to be what the church ought to be; a relevant expression of faith and spirituality to a hopeless world. Navigating The Journey means I am charged with unveiling and unleashing the creativity of our people. Instead of trying to plug them into the mold that I envision, I should be striving to help them develop their character and tap into their divine creativity so that they can do life as God intended. I am giddy with anticipation of a faith community that God uses to impact our culture in a way that no other community can because of the individuals He has brought together for The Journey. The challenge for me is to get out of the way and let the body be the body in a wonderfully diverse and creative way. Instead of designing a plan, simply cast the vision and allow the body to uniquely and creatively accomplish the vision.