Towards the Promised Land
Journey from Where we are to Where we want to be
Pay attention to both.
Important to pay attention to Where we are. Do this by:
Re-telling our story (how we came to be here, what has happened along the way, remembering those who have been part of the journey, honouring those we have lost, considering and reflecting on all that we have learned)
Celebrating all this. Giving thanks for it.
Stocktaking. Taking stock of your resources. All kinds of resources. What do we have in our hands, at this moment. Identify gifts.
Celebrating those gifts. Investing them. And investing in them.
So why focus on Where we want to be? Putting the cart before the horse? If we focus on this today, we will get bogged down. Actually, showing the horse where you want her to go.
Question of where the energy comes from. Energy to pull the cart comes from the horse. But the horse is motivated by seeing where it is going.
Easier to lead the horse (and cart) from the front, rather than push the cart and the horse from behind.
We focus on Where we are in the light of Where we want to be.
Why dreams are not selfish
Because faith is a whole-body process. Everyone matters. Every individual counts. Every dream is important. Everyone’s hopes, dreams, visions matter. (Joel 2)
Danger: that people will feel excluded, or will exclude themselves, from the promise of abundant life.
Because the journey begins here & now. With us. With me. In the present moment. The present moment is where we live and respond. (Isaiah 55)
Danger: that we keep looking somewhere else (to the past, the future, another geographical location, a great event, other people) rather than to the God who meets me, listens to me, wants to speak to me, wants to show me…..
Because God gives a vision to each person and we are empowered and energised by making that vision real. (John 4)
Danger: that we will lack power, peace and passion because we dare not believe that we can dream dreams, or we dare not make them real.
Because in realising/making real our dreams for ourselves, we learn why other people find it hard to realise/make real their dreams. And understanding, we can then help them. (Matthew 7)
Danger: that we will lack understanding and wisdom.
Because unless we know how to love ourselves, we will not know how to love our neighbour, or how our neighbour wants to be loved. (Luke 10)
Danger: that we will lack love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, grace.
Why do we have problems “dreaming our dreams” or allowing ourselves to pursue them?
Identify the fears which prevent us developing our vision and working to make it real.
Walk through them by:
- using every opportunity to focus on abundance (preaching/bible study/ reflection/ prayer)
- building personal confidence (training/ pastoral care that focuses on encouraging, equipping, enabling)
- taking time/space for personal well being, pastoral care and support
- pay attention to all aspects and levels of self
- pay attention to input/output of words and images
- take action to make your dream real, even tiny steps make a difference
Build on the Whole not the Hole!
Dreaming dreams - and taking action to make them real - helps us to imagine, see and build on the positive. When we build on the positive, we are building on a firm foundation. On rock, not on sand. On what is there, rather than on what is not there. (But have to take account of what is not there - leave no one behind!)
On the whole, rather than on the hole!
So stay focused on Where you are, but look at it with the eyes of faith, as those who are on the way to where you want to be, with eyes trained to see abundant life, and to give thanks for it.
The “Eucharistic Dynamic”
1. Receive what is given. Pay attention to it.
2. See the good and celebrate it.
3. Take action towards your dream. Act as if the vision is real. Even small steps count. Every little helps.
4. Reinforce the vision. Affirm one another. Keep going. Work the angles. Walk through your fears.