This year has been a huge journey for our family. Rather than just a holiday trip, we’ve been taken on a voyage; there’s a sense we have that God is preparing us for a destination.
I don’t mean a physical place – although I do wonder where “home” will be in 5 or 10 years – but I feel God is shaking us down, getting us ready for a change of life.
Many of us experience a huge “about turn” when we first become believers: the word repentance literally means “to turn around”. I fear though, that all too often, that’s where it ends. We align our beliefs, some of our morals, a permissible amount of our lifestyle, with the Gospel. But then we stop.
The older I get, the less life is black-and-white, and the more it is a rich tapestry of fear and hope, pain and joy
What I want to know, what Katherine wants to know, and the question we wish to be able to unwrap for our children is… If we start again, where do we end up?
- How do we become true, sold out, hearts aflame followers of the Way?
- How do we stop just talking about the Kingdom of God, but instead, live in it?
- How do we reconcile our lives of material comfort, where I can buy a new shirt for £3, and the dwellers of shanty towns, earning that much in a week?
- Has our society confused consuming entertainment with conversation and community
- When we follow a God who moved into the neighbourhood, what neighbourhood do we move into? And what is our role when we get there?
The older I get, the less life is black-and-white, and the more it is a rich tapestry of fear and hope, pain and joy. As the years grow on, I’m pretty confident there are going to be more questions, not less.
I just finished reading “To Baghdad and Beyond” by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, where he talks about the pivotal experiences of a peacemaking trip to Iraq. Back in 2002, just after 9/11, he, his wife, and several others went into Iraq, one day before the American invasion began. His book is an example of the
crazy radical actions of someone wrestling with questions.
“I had come to Baghdad to show love. But I still didn’t know what love meant. Fortunately I’d come to the right place to learn.”
Over the next four weeks, we are going to be wrestling with questions, meeting people who inspire us (Jonathan being one of them), and celebrating the incredible body of Christ.
During our time in America, we are staying with John M Perkins Foundation, the Alterna Community, Koinonia Farm, the QC Family Tree community, Rutba House, The Simple Way and the fledgling InnerChange Philadelphia.
We don’t know any of these people. All but one of them have had no personal reference for us, no character assurance: yet each of them have said “Come, eat with us, stay with us, work out your destination with us”. Sort of. I mean, none of them have said that actually, but I’m pretty confident its there in the spirit of their hospitality.
Each of these groups of people are those who think that there’s a richness in life that comes when we question things. Accepting the state of the world is a poor substitute for a path that should be laden with resurrection.
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”
We are being blessed with an incredible opportunity to try and rub against people who are like minded, like hearted, and who have been earnestly seeking wisdom for a lot longer than us. And, as Jonathan words it in the final sentence of his book, “Worshipping the crucified Messiah, we practice resurrection“.
If you are also asking questions, please come answer them with us, through this blog, through prayer, through email, through facebook. If there’s something you are fighting with, searching for or simply querying, please get in contact with us.