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Roaming

April 26, 2007

Yesterday I had the opportunity to roam a bit. I walked up to friend Glenn’s apartment, sat on his porch and we talked. I met several other people as well in that short spell: Justin, David, a few kids from the neighborhood, a guy that used to live in west Norwood. There was nothing profound or moving about it other than I was being a neighbor in a leisurely way. That doesn’t happen often for me and i suspect for others. When do we get out in our neighborhoods and just walk or talk to people with no agenda? It is rare for me. I am way too purpose driven. I need to know that there is an end in mind and proactively move toward it. I’m rethinking this though in the light of the incarantion. It seems to me that Christ came and 90% of what he “did” was “accomplished” through simply being present, being avaialble. This is why our character development (spiritual formation or call it what you will) is so important becasue what we “do” comes out of who we are. If we are a certain kind of person (i.e. loving, joyful, good, kind, patient etc) and we spend time around others we will “make a difference.” But, and this is the cruicial thing for me right now as i re-envision how I do life, what gets “done” is a by-product of who I am and how I am present to others.

** forgive me for using so many quotation marks. That is something that typically bothers me as it tends to communicate a wink and nod and a “you know what i mean” insider understanding. In this post it was a way to remind myself of how much of my language is dominated by an efficiency/productivity mindset.

+++ Lord, free me from the anxious pursuit of precise means and meaningful ends. Help me to seek first your kingdom and let you take care of everything else. Remind me often today that only one thing is needful. +++

It seems to me again that this is exactly how Christ organized his life. John 5 “My Father is always at work… I only do what I see the Father doing.” We particiapte in what God is doing. That is precisely how we seek first his kingdom. So for those who need three easy steps like me this is our agenda:

1. Whereever we find ourself be present and alert for God’s activity
2. Aid and abet whatever God is doing.
3. Repeat.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2007 12:02 pm

    wow…thanks for that kevin. my friend nazim and i were just talking about that in a similar way…about how jesus was purpose-driven, but allowed what others might see as a ‘purpose methodology’, getting from point A to point B, to be utterly interrupted and arrested because He was always looking for what the Father was doing, and was availble enough to stop and take the time (an overly commodified resource in our time?) to be available to others…and if He allowed Himself in His proclamation and demonstration of the Kingdom to be interrupted, maybe we should too, as we do the work of an evangelist…interrupted. it gives new meaning to ‘arrested development’ for me in an ironic-spiritual formation kinda sense. thanks for that man….

  2. April 26, 2007 1:39 pm

    Very good stuff. I’m looking very forward to hangin’ out with you this weekend.

  3. April 26, 2007 5:07 pm

    heck yeah, we love our neighbors, and most of our interaction with them is just brief chats on the fly, and we just try to be visible and present. I mean, what good’s an agenda anyway? I’m not going anywhere – may as well just live life and include those folks in it. Let God do what He’s gonna do, whether I ever get anything more from it than having good neighbors who look out for my family. Y’know?

  4. John permalink
    April 27, 2007 12:46 am

    Kevin,

    You sound a LOT like me in this post! I was just thinking about this when we were walking the dog last night. About once every 6 months I force myself to go hang out with the guys around my house, but I’m only out there for 10-15 minutes before I have to go do something else. I’m way too task – oriented. And I want to be much more purposeful about having time with nothing planned, to be more spontaneous and more available for my friends and neighbors. Thanks for inspiring me to think more seriously about this! John

  5. Rambo permalink
    April 27, 2007 6:28 pm

    K-Monk,

    It’s good to hear that you are seeking ways to be more adaptable and flexible in the midst of your purpose driven life…I know I worry how others perceive my ministry if I’m not “doing” something intentional, all the time; but I’m trying to get over that too. You’ll always have your critics. There are even those friends who tell their friends and families that I don’t really do anything but hang out with people and drink coffee now. I think they are half kidding, but mostly serious. I keep telling folks at Emmaus House that our job is to look around and see where God is already at work in our extended community and then to join God in that work; which of course, is easier said than done. Tonight is the downtown Arts Walk in Olympia, so Emmaus folks will gather at the house and then head downtown to enjoy our local art scene and strike up some conversations along the way. Should be a good time. Hope you are well. Miss seeing you twice a year in Portland.

    grace and peace!!

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