Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Risky Business

Risks are not to be evaluated in terms of the probability of success, but in terms of the value of the goal. – Ralph Winter

At this moment I’m sitting in my favorite local coffee shop listening to music by artists I’m unfamiliar with, sipping on a Cape Town Red Tea, and surrounded by young people working on their laptops, studying, iPods plugged in, or hands moving in expressive American Sign Language. Meanwhile our exceptionally pristine home with its freshly washed windows, cleaned out closets, uncluttered shelves, and gleaming faucets is entertaining potential buyers.

But I’m not here because the house is being shown. It’s Wednesday night, and I intended on coming here anyway. Selling our home and going to places where people hang out are just two aspects of this phase of my journey. Organic (natural, simple, reproducible) church planter Neil Cole points out that most Christians are trying hard to figure out how to bring lost people to Jesus, but instead we should be bringing Jesus to lost people. I’m still learning what that looks like, but am pretty sure it means less time in a comfortable church environment and more time in culture.

But that’s only the intro to where I’m going with this particular post. This whole journey God’s leading me on feels dadgum risky. I mean, honestly, I’m about as traditional as a middle aged mom/school teacher/Okie born and raised in the Bible-belt can be. For crying out loud, I say “dadgum.” And “for crying out loud.”

To make matters worse, Bob’s giving up his ministry job to go back to school fulltime in order to re-enter the general workforce where people who don’t know Jesus are. We’re downsizing as fast as we can, but my human eyes still can’t see how our finances are going to work out.

And we know nothing but traditional church culture. Sundays at 9:30. Potlucks. Sermons. Roll the Gospel Chariot Along.

Frankly, this whole deal is absolutely crazy. We’re likely to fail. Miserably. Go down in a firey, bankrupt, spiritually-isolated crash.

But that’s only the human me talking. The part that walks by sight.

The part that walks by faith knows it doesn’t matter. The goal is worth it. God’s called us to reach people for the cause of Christ. For salvation. For the best way to live. Because he loves them. Because he knows we love them, too.

So while my mind sometimes thinks too much, my heart leaps at the thought of what God’s called us to do. All the learning, and failures, and lifestyle changes, and painful personal transformation ahead of us are nothing compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and sharing in his mission to the world.

Honestly, I'm fairly sure everything we think he's going to do will look completely different than what we're thinking right now. People may very well say with a great deal of head-shaking, "Oh, those foolish Guillo's. They went off half-cocked, jumping into something they knew nothing about. And look at them now."

And that's okay, too. Because the goal is worth every bit of the risk.

1 comment:

Julie Harper said...

Caron, God bless you on your new mission! I know this has been quite a journey for you and Bob. Taking it to the next level only makes sense. And you're right - sometimes it's harder to do your job from inside the church building than from inside a marketing meeting. People are hurting out there, and they need help - out there. And sometimes, you have to go back out there to provide it. I'm glad that Bob took these last 10+ years to do THIS ministry. Glad you guys were there for Mom when Dad died. You left your imprint on Mt. Vernon and the good people there, as I'm sure you have on Amarillo. So - the next adventure - what college? What degree? Love, Julie