I want to say thank you to the many people who wished me Happy Birthday on yesterday’s blog. I can’t adequately express how encouraging everything that you wrote was (you may want to go back and check out everyone’s comments – there was some great wisdom there). It was humbling and wonderful. I mean, in this rough and tumble life, sometimes it feels great just to be noticed. So, please know how much I appreciate it. I’ve actually come to love some of you as much as one can in this virtual world that we inhabit.
Also worth noting were the many people showing up to send birthday wishes on Facebook
(incidentally, have you noticed – that’s the one thing
Facebook does better than anything else. I’ll bet you 10% of the
comments on FB are people remembering each other’s birthdays and
anniversaries). All our lives we strive for significance and well-celebrated birthdays help put enough gas in the tank to drive a little longer.
Many of you were kind and perceptive in what you shared. I honestly want this blog to be not about me, but through it, somehow to ignite hope, to at least hint at a better world, to lead us to a place where it’s not just about us and our needs. And you reciprocated – you noticed that I’ve been slogging away in the salt mines of this blog for four years and you gave me permission to seek God for a fresh word. Good friends always do that for one another.
You surprised me and lifted my spirits. I’m still mulling it over and seeking God’s direction, but here are six preliminary observations:
1. It’s not about me. We all get tired and need to take a break. But we need to get over ourselves. If the blog is breathing life into people and God’s in it, then there are ways to keep going without burning out. I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks and will use that as the point on the calendar from which to re-launch.
2. The feedback helps. I write in private and need to know if the effort is worthwhile or is starting to miss the mark.
3. It’s a great vision-caster. A World Race parent emailed me and said, “I had deep concerns. I knew nothing about AIM and wanted to do my due diligence as a father before allowing [my daughter] to pursue this path. A leader’s “voice” is one of the things that differentiates organizations. Because of the skills God has given you as a writer, your written voice is strong. God is using your words.”
4. The community is a life-source. It certainly is for me, and it turns out, many of you find encouragement from one another. Although I’m the instigator, I’m just one person and need to pay attention to the wisdom of the collective.
5. Still, it needs to change. Things that don’t change stagnate. That’s the problem with a lot of churches, incidentally. The blog is about coping with too much comfort, for goodness sakes. At a minimum, I’m going to be cutting back my output and re-directing time freed up to investing in some of you, particularly those of you itching to get off the sidelines.
6. We need to hear from God. We need more examples of how people wait on God for direction. This moment is such an opportunity for us as a community. Already this morning I’ve received some direction from the Lord from some of you who are praying.
So, after writing yesterday’s blog, I asked God about it on my morning jog. Thankfully, it seemed as though he responded. I’m looking for confirmation and I want to sit on it for a while before sharing it, but the essence is this:
Many of you have large reservoirs of untapped greatness in you. And I think God wants us as a community to call that out and create a place of amplified ministry. We all need people calling us out. Pray on it. Perhaps some of you may get some revelation as to how we can better minister together.