Moses and the Labyrinth
While away on my recent retreat I spent some time wandering through the monastery’s labyrinth. Now, in the past, labyrinths have always been one of those things that were amazing in concept, disappointing in reality to me… until now. As I began the journey through the twists and turns I began having an internal conversation with myself that went something like this:
This is goofy… I am walking around in a giant circle.
The center of this thing is right over there… would it be a bad thing if I just walked over the lines to say I made it?
Seriously? The center is RIGHT. OVER. THERE. Why do I need to walk further away from it?
I wonder if this is how Moses felt: the promised land is RIGHT. OVER. THERE. but the path is leading me somewhere else.
That crushed me.
By wiring I am a visionary. I see cool possibilities, and then I start to chase after them. I also love systems and structures: once we have a vision, I create the framework we need to make it all happen. There are times when my skills and abilities are of incredible benefit to those with whom I serve… and then there are times when I get ahead of myself, and forget that the journey is important too.
Church planters, church revitalization guys, and leaders often forget this… the journey is a place of refinement personally, and organizationally. We must go through the journey in order to get to the place that God is leading us. One of my former pastors languished in his own church planting desert for several years, often wrestling with whether to shut the church down or not, before he was spiritually ready to lead a large and growing church.
I’ve often wondered what would have happened had Moses said “forget this pillar of fire thing, forget the doubters, and forget this wandering around business… let’s just go in!”
I wonder how often I try and do just that.
Are YOU embracing the journey, or forcing the goal?