Michelle, the girls and I were out to lunch with a young couple the other day. During our lunch, somehow we got into the conversation about Madison driving and her getting the keys to the van and being able to drive. Michelle asked her what she would do once she got in the van. Madison said that she would put it in drive and drive. Michelle told her that would be a bad idea because we had pulled into a parking space and driving forward wasn’t an option. Madison said that she would put it in reverse first and back out. Michelle asked how she was going to know if it was okay to back out and she said she would look in the display on the dash. Michelle told her that she would also need to look and not just trust the display. Michelle asked her what she would do once she had backed out. Madison said she would drive home. Michelle asked her how she should do that. Madison went on to say that she would put the van into drive and push on the pedal. Michelle said, “which pedal?” Madison said, “the go pedal.” I must have missed that when I learned how to drive. The good news is, she knew which pedal it was and she didn’t call the brake pedal the stop pedal, so that is good. Also, she is only 13 so we have a few years.
As I laughed at her comment, it made me think about the times in my life I need to press the “go” pedal. There are times when we need to stop, and maybe that is where you are. A time to be still and know that He is God. A time to have a sabbath with our Lord, to enjoy His presence and peace. After Jesus’ resurrection, before the disciples were to “go” into all the world, they were called to wait for the Spirit. So, maybe that is where you are, but I am in a place where I need to go. I am one of the slowest people at doing some things. Things I know I should do, but don’t feel ready. Places I should lead, but don’t think the church is ready. Work I don’t ask others to do, because I don’t want to inconvenience them. What I am really doing though is not allowing God to use me, not trusting that God will work it out, and not allowing God’s people to serve Him in work that He has created them to do.
Some of those things that I know I am supposed to do are to have what I am calling holy conversations. Conversations not just about how you are doing, not just about letting you know you are thought of, but asking you things like: How are you letting Jesus be your Lord? Where are you seeing Him in your life? How you are about His business in all you do? How can I help you know Him more fully, surrender to Him more deeply, and love Him even more?
I am going to try and make expectations known, starting in particular with our leadership. Not just job descriptions about what needs to be done, but what type of people and behaviors we need to be and display. To help us experience God in a more profound way as Lord and we as His servants. A body being about His work to which He has called us.
Those expectations will extend to the whole church as we define who we are and how we believe God has called us to be about His business here at the corner of Clay and E. High St. Looking at the way we establish connections with those whom God is putting around us and calling us beside those who don’t know Him. Expecting us to be cultivating relationships and out of those places inviting people to join us in community, to at least see who we are and what God is doing among us. Challenging us to call people to surrender more fully to Christ, to share with them things we have done, ways we have made room for Him, opportunities that are coming up for them (and that would be us too) to allow Christ to be Lord of another piece of our heart and lives. And then not allowing this journey of transformation to be taken alone, establishing intentional relationships where we walk together trying to help each other keep Christ and His work at the center of our lives.
I don’t know where you are, but I need to press the “go pedal” in some things. Pray that the Lord directs all that we do, that His Holy Spirit encourages us and reminds us that He is on the throne and empowers us to be about His work. Know that you are dearly loved and that I desire for us to be a community of faith who surrenders to Him, looks out for each other and goes out into the world.
Rev. Lynn Beach is married to his college sweetheart, Michelle, and they have two adorable daughters. He has been at Park Church since July 2013.