At the opening session for the Transforming Culture Symposium, David Taylor asked us to take a couple of minutes in silence to meditate on why we were there. I thought it was a really good question since I am an insight junkie and always feel like there is some momentous discovery right around the corner. I enter every conference trying to glean all the kernels of truth that might just change my life.
But, I wasn't sure I was feeling it this time.
So, when we closed our eyes and tried to just listen for God's voice I started running through the list of things I'd like to get out of the conference and trying to push out thoughts of how we could easily be leading a breakout session and why didn't I think to contact them about it earlier, and maybe we aren't as cutting edge as we thought and all kinds of other ego thoughts when I finally got quiet and a voice in my head yelled: "C'mon Lisa! For the last 18 months you've battled feeling isolated and crazy, praying for confirmation and to not feel alone. Well, here it is! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!!"
And that was the tone of the conference for me. Todd and Elise and I all felt confirmed and affirmed in what we began at Convergence and what we are doing with our lives. And then on the humbling side of things, I was reminded big time that this "movement" or awakening of the creative and spiritual life is something that is happening all over the world - with or without us!
Now, that can be an ego blow - just because I have been thinking about all this stuff for the last 15+ years doesn't mean I'm the only one. In fact, the more creative people I meet the more I find out that MOST of us have been noticing these trends, mulling over these thoughts and yearning for a creative and spiritual renewal. So...I won't be writing the book that sets the world on fire. No one is looking at me going "I never thought of that before!" And you know what... I'm relieved.
My ego wants me to be very special and be the first and smartest and best. But, my health has been telling me something else recently. Also, as I have more time on the job in this funky pastor role, I realize that "getting things done" often gets in the way of doing my job.
So, the relief I feel is that I am not alone, I am one of many, many people getting involved in a movement. My responsibility is not to set the world on fire, write a book, take up the lecture circuit, etc. etc. Rather my responsibility (and my pleasure) is to my little community in Northern Virginia. It is much more about spending time with people, getting to know them, helping us all to know one another and learn to live together. It is about spending time finding ways to help us all build community in one of the most difficult places in the country to have that. It is to encourage, and walk alongside and learn.
For me there is something very freeing in this. Letting go of the "next big thing." I finally feel free to put down deep roots and allow myself the pleasures of knowing I will be living in a community for a long time (something I have never experienced before).