Saturday, January 12, 2008

An Ocean Analogy (Gone Wild)

I was looking out this morning from a bluff overlooking the ocean after a short run in Santa Barbara, a favorite weekend getaway for us. I was impressed by the surfers out there with real skillz--as well as the ginormous aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the background (on shore leave apparently).

At first I was reminded that mission is like riding the waves of the Spirit, what God is already doing. We do not seek to impose our preconceived ideas of how the "wave" should act, but take all that information in stride to form our approach, which can change at any time. It takes skill, discernment, and apparently lots of practice too! But it's the wave that determines our approach.

Contrast this to the aircraft carrier which is immune to the puny waves and imposes its will with its sheer size. It becomes the focus of awe and impressiveness. I read in the local paper that if the carrier was put on its end, it would be as tall as the Empire State building.

I made a correlation in church planting, or at least in what kind of community God is calling these days. No more giant aircraft carrier churches like Saddleback, which can influence by its sheer size...impressive, but for what reasons? Rather, we see small groups of people coming together to ride the waves of what God is doing.

I'm sure the analogy can get ridiculous as I get going...if I knew more about surfing and aircraft carriers, I probably would!