You know what it’s like when you’re on the trail, climbing a ridge forever, sweating, hot, tired, shoulder straps of the pack cutting into your shoulders, wondering if it’s all worth it, longing for pizza, dreading dried food, just about ready to give up…and then through the trees ahead, you get your first glimpse of open sky, your first hint that the summit is near.
Or when you’re in an airplane, staring at the uniform gray blankness out the window for eons on the ascent, no break in the unyielding cloud cover…and then there’s a flicker, a glimpse of light, a quick peek at the brown and green land far below.
Those moments aren’t really what you long for. You’re still not sitting on top of the ridge, huge panoramas of sky and space open before you. You’re still not through the clouds, able to clearly see the ground below, your mind easily identifying mountains, lakes, roads, fields, and towns.
It’s not quite that. But it’s a heck of a lot better than where you’ve been. I’ve been slugging up the hill and staring at thick clouds for a long, long time. But I’m emerging…and yes, that’s a wonderful play on words for those who get it. I’m not there, I haven’t arrived, but there’s hope. There’s hope.
I’m hoping, over the next few days, to spend some time moving back to where I started with this blog. What does it mean to be a faithful church? And how do we get there?
For now, for tonight, just a simple acknowledgment that there is no perfect church. There’s always something out there better than yours, but if you went to it, you’d find stuff to hate there, too. There’s no one right way to be faithful. Our task is to be as faithful as we can in the context of the community we are in.
Many thanks to AJ Schwanz, who sent me a link to the absolute perfect piece of blogging to describe where I am right now. Go check it out! (And man, I may need to upgrade to wordpress, too…AJ’s blog is impressive!)