Saturday, August 11, 2007

Now I See Clearly?

I remember one Apex "dreaming session" somewhere around the year 2000. We dreamed of the day we would have 1000 people in house churches and 1000 people in a gathering. I've often wondered when we would ever see that dream become reality. Somewhere around 300 people (now including me and my family) moved away from Vegas in the meantime. That sure didn't help!

Yet today it hit me. This week I've gotten two more e-mails from people who have been drawn toward the simple church journey from some location around North America. I've gotten hundreds (maybe a thousand?) of such e-mails over the past seven or eight years. All of them asking what we have learned about this journey that we might share with them. It seems God decided to draw people onto that journey from all over the place without first telling any of us what He was doing.

Maybe that dream session wasn't about us creating a thing with 1000 people (the good American, success-driven way of thinking), but it was about God showing us what He was already doing, and what He would allow us to play a small part in. Who knows.


Our big yard has a little bit of a weed problem. Actually, it's more like a plague.

The last owners were kind enough to not water the lawn at all this spring, and the Midwest is experiencing an intense drought. So, the grass nearly died (we caught it just in time), but the weeds flourished. And I mean tons of weeds. Weed after weed after weed.

We've had it sprayed twice, and many of the weeds are slowly dying. But I decided this week, against the advice of many veteran lawn owners, to take matters into my own hands.

For the past four mornings, I've been out in the lawn at 6:30AM (it's been brutally hot & humid here) with a weed-removing tool, plucking the big ones one at a time. People laugh at me, but I've actually made it look a lot better by this diligence. Maybe I'm enjoying the manual labor after so many months of studying. Mostly, I'm enjoying seeing a slight improvement in the appearance of the lawn.

I've been amazed, though, at the way the weeds multiplied so quickly. I've filled two huge garbage containers with the ones I've pulled, and I probably haven't gotten half of them yet. And they all have grown within the last couple of months. Amazing really.

I've made many spiritual analogies while I've done this. Something bad can multiply really fast and almost choke out something good. When it does, you can try with your own effort to extract it (the something bad), but unless a power on high sprays the magic potion on the problem, it's really quite humorous to try to fix it oneself. And yet diligent effort does pay some dividends.

One last thought: the problem will not be fully alleviated until we aerate and re-seed the entire lawn this fall . . .

and then wait for a harsh, cold, winter . . .

and then the new life of spring to follow. Really, I have no choice but to wait on the new seasons to come.

So many analogies come to mind.


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