As I reached my foot for the flirtatious stone, it disappeared under water and I fell into the stream. Much later, a giant boulder of strength emerged with me sprawled out on top. It happened in the in between.
I have left not one, but two, longtime thriving ministries. Both times, there were those who considered my choice irrational. I too, had fleeting undercurrents of doubt. Why would I leave? Not only was I passionate about each calling, but also, through both I was able to work with people I had grown to love.
What was I thinking? Spirit’s breath was in the call to leave. What else could I do?
Along with those who commented on my seeming illogical choices, others touted me for being brave. In the sum’s total, either could have been true.
There are those who stay in a place and persevere, finding all passable routes through tedious social structures of a community, working to maintain a healthy organism. Others venture out into the unknown to discover or pioneer. Together, they comprise a whole.
On the shadowy side, staying can be born out of fear or an overly active need to belong, just as leaving can be shucking responsibilities or running away from. If we choose to live in Love, we no longer have judging privileges. Badgering fails to enlighten, and rather than extending love, invites the other into shame.
For me, becoming attentive to Jesus’ day-to-day rhythms of interacting and pulling away sharpened my hearing of the still small voice and silenced contrary opinions. I noticed how Jesus drew a crowd and then walked away. Who does that? I suspect that in the in between he found his bearings, or developed trust enough to live without them.
Acclimating our ears to the whispers of words such as go, come, stay and leave, is one way we prepare ourselves for transformation. We change, morph or grow when we submit to the flow, trusting that the boulder of strength will rise up within.
Seldom do callings come just as we imagined. If; however, we fall into the stream, believing that all the necessary doings or un-doings are taking place, conversion will surely meet our lost parts. It happens in the in between.