Let go of the rail
Yesterday, Camden County Episcopal Youth went ice skating. We had a great time and in the process, I observed two truths:
You can't learn to skate
1) by holding on to the side rail, or
2) without testing the thickness of your padding.
I said yesterday that I thought these two observations "would preach" in that we similarly are called by God to take steps of faith and stepping out in faith is not always easy or without its problems. King of Peace has moved forward as a church by stepping out in faith—like opening The Preschool with a few thousand dollars in the bank, only 9 students enrolled, and a projected quarter million a year in expenses. We all really felt God was leading us that direction and we stepped out in faith. Along the way we got in debt, the church had to loan some money to the school, and within four months the new business was in doubt (lesson 2 above) but we revisited the business plan, made some changes, but generally stayed firm. The Preschool is now a thriving ministry, providing the best possible care to the students while emphasizing education, including Christian Education, and it is even successful as a non-profit business. But we would not have gotten close to where we are without letting go of the rail.
The same applies to us as individuals. We have to take steps of faith at time that mean letting go of the rail. As Anglicans (of which the Episcopal Church is part), we feel that God leads us in community. If you, as an individual, feel that God is calling you to do something, then others will affirm it. The shorthand I use for this is "God speaks in stereo." So that when God is calling you to do something, you'll just know it, but others will confirm it, often without knowing they are doing so. You'll hear something on the radio or read it in the newspaper which confirms the next step. Someone will offhandly mention something only to be affirming the step God has for you (like the way this blog entry will likely speak to someone's heart about where God is leading him or her). But with all that said, steps of faith do not ensure that everything will go off without a hitch. God will be there both when we step out and when we fall (lessons 1 & 2 above). It's not easy, but it beats hanging on to the rail watching the skaters zoom by.
Photos of yesterday's Memorial Garden Dedication are also now online.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church