During the Livestream of the service that was otherwise snowed out in January, I introduced you to a couple Snow Babies from our collection. UPDATE: The Snow Babies continue to be on display because, well…they are still in season! Among our collection is a figure entitle: Blind Faith. It is a Snow Baby wearing a blindfold, standing atop a stump with one foot lifted, ready to step out “in blind faith.”
We’ve all been there; summoning up enough courage to do something that has an unforeseeable outcome. Still, there is something that tells us the risk is one that must be taken. Maybe we know we can’t stay “stumped” where we are forever. Maybe we have built up confidence knowing that we have survived taking a tumble from places of similar risk before. Maybe it is that tug of the Spirit in whom we put our faith. For whatever the reason, we know it is something we have to do. So, with “blind faith” we step forward.
That is where we found ourselves five years ago, in 2015, when you were stumped needing a new pastor and I was stumped needing a new congregation. Oh, it was far from “blind faith.” A committee had diligently been searching for the right pastor, reading ministerial profiles, conducting interviews, surveying the congregation, praying. I, too, had done my homework. I read the church profile, met people, had conversations and asked questions—a lot of questions. Both the congregation and I wanted to get the best look we could at each other. That’s certainly not “blind faith” but neither is it a guarantee that this is going to work out.
Now, after five years, it’s 2020 and we might say that “hindsight is 2020.” Looking back, it seems to be working out pretty much as we had hoped that it would. In hindsight, I can clearly see now that stepping out in faith was worth the risk. I cannot begin to imagine where I could have possibly found a better context in which to follow my pastoral call. Still, sometimes I can hardly believe my eyes when I look at the places we have gone together and the joy that we have discovered together. It’s more than the Lenten Studies, the amazing outreach projects, the countless beautiful worship services, the innovative change within the congregation and the summer youth trips. It’s not just what we have done but who we have done those things with. It is the relationships we have formed as we worked and prayed and worshiped and wandered together. It is realizing that we have needed each other to do any of the amazing stuff that we have done. It is realizing that we have been there for each other and with each other from that first “blind step” on. That was our commitment to each other then and it remains our commitment now. To step out together in faith on the path to which God calls us. To move ever forward and always together on our shared journey.
There are still moments of uncertainty that are sure to “stump” us. We will still need courage to take the first step when we can’t see the whole path. We might even fall from time to time. Every step of every day will demand courageous faith and steadfast determination. Yet, our journey continues with confidence. And why shouldn’t it? Our faith assures us that we have a God in whom we can always trust. In addition to that, 2020 Hindsight tells us that we can trust one another. Come what may, we are partners together with each other and with Christ in the ministry to which God has called us and continues to lead us. I look forward to where our journey will take us from here, not only because of the anticipation of exciting new destinations but because I know that wherever we go, we will go together!