Saturday, September 15, 2007

Summer was so Long Ago...

We just got some pictures developed from our vacations in New Mexico and the North Shore. It's been cold the last couple of days. There was frost on the car windows this morning! It seems that summer was so long ago, and passed so quickly.

I think I'll remember Gooseberry Falls the most. I've been there more than once, but it was great to go there with neice M, Scout and my mom and dad, who had never been further north than Duluth before. And it was good to walk across the falls, although, as I may have mentioned before, I am bad at these sorts of things.

I am not good at taking risks. I like to play it safe. Sure, I went to Japan once, a long time ago. And I have done a couple of other things too: I ran an inner city program one summer for children. It didn't quite crash and burn, but it wasn't pretty.

As a pastor, I think most people would prefer we don't take too many risks. But I suspect that, for the future of the church, we pastors need to want some things, for ourselves and for our churches, so badly that we are willing to risk failure, willing to fall into the water, scrape our knees. We need to want to get to the other side so much that we are willing to do something risky to get there.

But it's hard for me. It's hard for me even to imagine what I want that much. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 12 or 13, because I was afraid of falling down. Finally the shame of not knowing how overcame the fear of falling, and I spent a week with my best friend, riding a smaller bike until I could get on the tall one. At the falls, I think it was because I wanted to be with my niece. So I did what I didn't want to do.

Right now, I am trying to keep the image of the falls in my head, and asking myself the question, "What is it that I want so badly, that I am willing to risk failure? That I am willing to fail and keep failing until I succeed?" What am I willing to walk across the falls for? I don't know yet, but I am willing to keep asking, and to keep walking, until it is clearer.


Tribal Church said...

Your words are incredibly true. I can't tell you how many times I've felt this.

Actually, I'm usually in the midst of some creative disaster thinking, "Why couldn't I have left things well enough alone?"

Thanks for the post.

more cows than people said...

excellent reflection.

i told someone once, shortly after she met me, that I am NOT a risk taker. she said "You're a young, progressive, feminist woman and you chose to accept a call in a small, conservative, rural town. You have led in a way that is a genuine to who you are. That sounds way risky to me." Sheepishly I adjusted my declaration. "I'm not a PHYSICAL risk taker, but yeah, I guess I take some big emotional risks."

i suspect you do too.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

oh Diane how I resonate with this... and it's got me pondering what I'd go to the falls for myself.

FranIAm said...

Diane- what a beautiful post.

I am sending you many prayerful thoughts with that image of the falls and you.

Peace and blessings to you.

P.S. how is Scout?

Anonymous said...

As more cows said, there are many kinds of risks. I'm not a physical risk-taker myself, but there are some roads where you don't even realize the risk until you've traveled a good part of the way...

Pastor Eric said...

"What is it that I want so badly, that I am willing to risk failure?" -- I just love that quote. It is a question I am going to ponder for a while. I mean...I have never really asked that question of myself before. I also wonder if my church council has ever asked that question or the congregation as a whole.


Thanks for the reflection...I have some pondering to do.