When do you begin to connect? After you enter a new place, when do you begin to connect with that place?
Some don’t–they drift from place to place, rootless, friendless, and busy, but alone. Others enter into transition, settle there, but wonder: when will I really connect? Will it happen as I drive the streets, or walk the paths, or taste the bounty, or breathe the air, or see the beauty? We all transition–each day, but not everyone connects to the place God has planted them.
I grew up re-connecting. Before I reached my teens, I lived in six states from Alaska to New York to Florida to Tennessee to Illinois to Washington. It’s been a great ride thanks to my amazing parents who found ways to make our transitions an adventure. Because of their sense of adventure and their love, I have always loved new experiences. And I love to connect.
For me, connection happens when I open my eyes and open my heart as I walk the streets, talk with people, pray to God, and engage in worship. It happens, like it did today, as my beautiful wife and I drove to the coast, enjoyed some amazing bread, hiked along the coast, saw it’s rugged beauty, and listened it’s powerful push of waves breaking on shore. Connection also happened to me this last week as I worked alongside ministry partners who are seeking to catch the wind of a vision that God is breathing among us, and who are bracing to set sail. And after just two weeks, I have to say that we are off to an amazing start. But our transition will take time. And your prayers will be vitally important for the journey. Please pray that our propulsion into the next stage be driven and directed by God’s breath and wind, the Spirit. Life is just too short for less of an adventure.
I digress. To point: connection for me happens in all kinds of experience, but it especially happens when I listen to stories, see faces, and catch the currents of God’s Spirit alive in the place God has called me to live. One strong current at my new church is Open Closet, Sonoma’s second largest food distribution delivered by Redwood to our hungry neighbors. This amazing ministry feeds many, and it’s one way one church is following Jesus into the world God loves. And that’s a clue to the connection that God desires for us.
I believe that the connection we all long for–with God and one another—will be experienced as people connect as friends, grow as followers of Jesus, and seek to serve others in the name of Jesus. It’s that simple and it’s that challenging, and it will take time.
So I’m praying. I praying that Redwood Covenant will be guided by God. I’m praying that we find ways to help those who are spiritually thirsty associate the life they want with the life Jesus gives. And I’m praying that we will keep in step with the Spirit’s direction to share God’s love with our neighbors in the many neighborhoods that God has planted us.
I’m praying along those lines because I believe the connection we all long for happens with God and His friends who are growing together as disciples of Jesus, on a mission to serve others in the name of Jesus.
God will answer prayers along those lines, and I invite you to pray with me along those lines over the next few weeks. As we join together in prayer, we will be connecting. Oh yes.