There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability;
there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community. - M. Scott Peck

Friday, July 1, 2011

Growing Pains

This week our group celebrated a final gathering as one large group before we multiply into two, along with a celebration feast to honor our group leader.

Regarding the former, we have truly labored and struggled over the issue of whether and when we should multiply. Not arguments (at least, not a lot of those), but more of an emotional wrestling that left us all weary. We know we have a great thing in our small group. Jack has lead us to the place where we have a remarkable level of honesty and disclosure about our respective “stuff”. The product of that work has been a level of intimacy that I have never seen anything like in previous groups. We all feel like comrades who have been through battles together, and we most definitely do not want to abandon each other.

In spite of this, we've come to the reluctant conclusion that what we have is a very good thing – evidenced by how much we want to hold on to it – but to keep it only for ourselves betrays the example of Jesus, who both directs us and demonstrates the need to give it away. So we realize that the only way to bring what we have to new men, is to make room for new men. We are now two smaller groups, each looking for a few more men with courage – or at least the willingness to take a risk. This whole process feels very much to me like the conflict I experience frequently now in living out my faith. I have persistent doubts, and I don’t always want to do what I know is the faithful thing, but I know that living in faith is far more important than convincing myself that I have no doubts. Doing faith matters more than talking about it or wanting to do it.

To honor our leader this past Wednesday we didn’t go to great lengths, but it was deeply meaningful to us all. Jack has pursued honesty and candor in the group, and has expressed love for us that feels to me much like a military leader with a paternal heart. Imagine a tearful ship’s captain. We all ready ourselves for battle willingly, seeing the genuine care and investment that he has for us and has brought to the fight.

I will celebrate and warmly remember what we had, mourn a little, and eagerly look forward to what God will do next. This is true adventure. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Are your days this meaningful? Would you like them to be? Take a risk.

No comments: