Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wanted :: 1 wise elder [or so I think]

Been thinking about stuff lately > wondering what needs to be tweaked to make me more effective in what I do. I've been lacking inspiration and needed to get my head around the root of the problem... get the vision back, so to speak.

This cartoon from the genius Jon Birch got me remembering my thoughts. I don't have a mentor... I don't know of one wise elder within my immediate vicinity that I can turn to... someone who knows Jesus and God's Kingdom intimately... someone who knows life and understands the issues facing us all today... someone who can help guide me... interpret my dreams and keep me rooted. Someone who I can discuss "a generous orthodoxy" with, for example. It seems like I lead all the time... and it would be nice to take (if you know what I mean).

Don't get me wrong... I have a fabulous support system... Olly is a tremendous source of encouragement and strength > I couldn't live if she wasn't with me.

And there is my dad... he puts the fun in fundamentalist... although recently he's becoming more conversant with "emerging" thought and is journeying towards a post-evangelical outlook. My dad is great to bounce ideas off and is an "always on" source of encouragement.

He is a wise elder and one who has journeyed through a wilderness period when he moved to Fife from Lanarkshire in the late 70's (when I was 3). He didn't have an elder to support him... and developed an interdependent relationship with a wonderful Baptist called Bill.

Their relationship always was special ... a really powerful four-ball when my mum and Nancy got involved. Real "kingdom of God" stuff > the less fortunate were looked after with their light shining bright.

I break my heart when I think of Bill now... struggling with his cancer... weak... but yet still strong in his faith and love for his Lord and for his family. Still an inspiration... and their relationship continues to be special.

My dad is a great elder but he is a grandfather and husband as well as being my dad > and I don't want to hog him when he comes over to see the family. This got me thinking... maybe its not an elder I need but a journeyman like Bill.

Jon with "Darkest England"

I had coffee with Jon G last Friday... and it was special. Don't get me wrong... its always great to grab time with Jon... but, for some reason, Friday was special. ((deep)) has been pretty stressful for me lately and I was using our coffeetime as an offload... usefully cathartic but an dumping ground nonetheless.

Friday was special because we began to dream dreams again... like we did in the early days of ((deep)).

Jon's been through the mill... and is cynical but hopefully so. He sees the new day... and helps me to shape my thoughts > we shape each others.

We had a fab discussion about "emerging" ideas and compared them with our Founder's ideas from 1890. General Booth was a proto-emergent before this emerging church thing was even defined. Jon kept referring to his *original* copy of Booth's book :: "Darkest England and the way out" (love the graphic at the front of this late 1890's book).

We see our future in an "ancient-future" paradox > bringing old truths and interpretations / applications of the Good News to the Poor to new contexts and post-modern ideals. I don't think we are new here... but we still feel like pioneers.

I'll leave it at that... here's to old men dreaming dreams (that's Jon and I > were passed the visions bit :-) )

thank you Olly... thank you Dad... thank you Mum... thank you Bill and Nancy... thank you Jon... and my thanks too to all of you out there in the blogosphere > people I know through blogging that continue to inspire and encourage me. You all rock!
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