Saturday, March 7, 2020

Post-conference slide, or not?

I had the privilege last week of attending the Exponential Conference in Orlando, Florida with three of our leaders from The Open Door. It was a week full of excellent speakers, vibrant worship, and intense conversations. We rolled back into the tundra last night just before bedtime, and I know I've got a lot to process in the coming days.

The danger, of course, after an experience like this is that you can just let it all slide. Life fades back to normal and you ease back into the same ruts. I suppose that's true of any life-changing experience. The medical crisis passes, the passionate relationship ends, the mountaintop vacation comes to a close, and life simply slides back into what used to be normal.

The question is, how badly do we want things to change? Do we want things to be different enough that we're willing to endure the pain of change? By definition, change requires pain. We don't often think of that. Change means disruption. It's difficult. Most of the time, it's just easier to drift unintentionally back into being small.

Last week I had the privilege, on a professional level, of glimpsing what is possible. Our team spent several intense conversations hashing out the realities of moving toward that target in practical terms.

On a personal level, God graciously confronted me with some clear pictures of where I am and where I've been living. Am I willing to make the changes it will take to live differently? Am I willing to confront a more painful reality? The benefit is that I can start to live more intentionally. I can let go of some dreams and take hold of others. Am I ready? Is 2020, in fact, the year to live into a clear vision?

That's the work that comes after the mountaintop. That's the valley in which we are beaten into shape to receive the vision, in Oswald Chambers' words.

So this morning, I'm making concrete plans about how to implement what I've heard and seen. I'm doing my best to let go of the past and grab hold of the changes.

I'll keep you posted.

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