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.