Of Water Holes and Fools
Week of March 28, 2010
Driving Thru Life with CCC Transformational Architect Jeff Dixon
I read somewhere that in some nomadic tribes in sub-Saharan Africa the singers, poets, dancers and storytellers have an essential practical responsibility within the life of the tribe. It is they who are keepers of the memory of where the water holes are.
In the hot, dry desert land in which the tribes wander, water is life. Nomadic tribes are always on the move and the need for water is essential. The tribe’s continuing existence depends on these artists who remember well. Memory, in this case, is preserved through art.
That metaphor struck a resonating chord in my mind. I am a storyteller, a truth teller, I am tasked with what I believe is a sacred responsibility to help people drink deeply from the well of living water that Jesus offers.
Part of my role is to remember where the water holes are and make sure people find them. As people move through the sometimes rocky terrain and hot deserts of life my ministry to people is to help them find the water holes. There they find life and refreshment so they can keep moving forward in their journey. I also am tasked with the responsibility of being able to discover fresh water holes as we move forward. The need to know the difference between an oasis and a mirage. On the journey He calls us to we need to be constantly able to draw from the living water that He offers.
Now you may be wondering, “what are you talking about Jeff, where are you going with this?” Hang in there with me…I am going somewhere.
Neurological studies have shown that over the course of time, there is a cognitive shift from right-brain to left-brain. And if we don’t find a way to stop the shift, memory overtakes imagination. We stop creating the future and start repeating the past. We stop innovating and start imitating. We stop doing ministry out of imagination and start doing ministry out of memory.
I don’t want to spend my life revisiting the same old water holes.
I don’t ever want to be guilty of doing ministry by auto-pilot. You have heard me tell you time and time again, “the call of God is FORWARD!” Jesus said it clearly, “Follow me…”
A few years ago I read something R.T Kendall wrote that impacted me: “The greatest opposition to what God is doing today comes from those who were on the cutting edge of what God was doing yesterday.”
I don’t want that to be me!
One of my prayers for myself and for you as well would be that we would be always moving forward. Here at CCC we don’t do ministry by looking backwards. The call to ministry is just like the call on each of our lives. It is a call forward.
So here is the question for each of us.
Are we moving forward or are we spending way too much time revisiting the familiar water holes? Is God doing some new things in your life or are you just wandering around repeating the same things you have done before?
Recently I heard someone say, “You know change is not so bad”
In the spiritual sense, change is a non-negotiable!
As we get ready to once again celebrate Easter you must remember that God did not give His life for you so you could be the same as you were. He came so you could change. And who you are today is not who you are going to be tomorrow if you are following Him. Transformational living means you are changing!
I don’t always know what the future holds…after all it is the future. But I do know this. What we have done in the past, the way we have approached things, the way God has worked things out, reminds me that we do not keep visiting the same water holes. Instead the journey He has called us to is fresh, exciting, and new.
I like that. I hope you do as well.
And just so you know, I am thrilled to be on the journey with you.
PS-One of the byproducts of the neurological shift away from right-brain imagination toward left-brain logic is that we become too logical. And it seems fitting as we approach April Fool’s Day to say that great leaders are illogical. The people God uses the most are people that aren’t afraid of looking foolish. In fact, if you aren’t willing to look foolish you’re foolish!
I Corinthians 1:27 says that God uses foolish things to shame the wise. Nothing has changed. He still uses fools. So maybe the church should adopt April Fool’s Day and make it a holy day!
Add your thoughts to these thoughts.
e-mail Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org