Thursday, May 14, 2009
Caught in a Kingdom Tractor Beam
I observe that I experience some of my most significant kingdom assignments in one of two modalities. One of these I would refer to as "a call". I think of a call as a definitive assignment -- one that has fairly clear paramaters such as when Paul has the dream in which the Macedonian man urges him to come preach in that region instead of another.
The other modality is not so much a "call" as it is a "tug", a "pull" or a "draw". At the front end, the details are far fewer when compared to a call. When Jesus told Matthew the tax collector to "follow Me" it was a rather open-ended engagement of his life. "Follow You where? With whom? For how long?" Matthew might have asked. But, we Christ-followers recognize that there are times when we are moved by some mysterious kingdom compulsion that keeps us feeling our way forward while still having many more questions than answers.
When we planted the Crown Valley Vineyard Church in early 2000, it had the quality of a call. Not that every blank was filled in, but there was a strong set of specifics -- geographic, philosophic, timing-wise, team-wise, and so on. However, some eight years later, I began to be drawn in to a whole new adventure in faith and following that was far more vague at first. This is an unsettling kind of thing -- a sure fire recipe for disruption, new vision, freaking out, fascination, misunderstanding, adventure, losses, gains and, ultimately, surrender.
It's what I have come to refer to as being caught in the "tractor beam" of the Kingdom -- an image that comes from the Star Wars movie. You may recall the point in the movie wherein the spacecraft being utilized by Luke Skywalker and company comes under the influence of what they refer to as a "tractor beam" -- a remarkable and mysterious force that irresistably sucks them into the belly of the mothership from which it is being generated.
I shall speak more about these things in my next post: "The New Wanderers"