So it looks like I will be off to Mexico this Thanksgiving. I’ll have the opportunity to head out on another road trip, and there are plans for Colorado in late January 2008. This, all coming off recent trips to both Idaho and Arizona. It would appear safe to assume that I have entered well into a ‘season’ of travel. But in this, I discover the strange realization that roots have begun to be planted. I highly recommend the view.
The travel is not so much ‘doings,’ as it is exploring the extent of God’s Kingdom in that funny little thing we call the Vineyard Movement…that place I call my spiritual home. It’s larger and more varied than the wonderful snapshot we get to see here in Redding. I am reminded of the song, Alice’s Restaurant – “…and if you get enough people singing, then you’ll have a movement…” I got to see Arlo Guthrie in Farmington, NM years ago. Twice.
This afternoon at lunch I had occasion to remember my initial transplant to New Mexico – all the while dodging the ongoing commentary of the impending loss of my sharp edges though both relationship, and God’s divine framing hammer…anyway – travel to NM.
I had arrived to the four-corners, sight unseen, in 1990-ish. Hair well below my beltline, a goatee, and political-agitator sunglasses all enclosed in a bright yellow VW bug with California plates. I certainly fit the profile. I had no job, no place to live, a ¼ tank of gas and 10 lbs of dried red beans.
I knew no one, and only had the vague idea I supposed to be there. At that time I had not fully developed my, now patented, ‘on the bus – off the bus’ social philosophy; but we were well into the 2nd draft. Although, I did know, that the best way to get to where I felt I needed to be, was to actually show up 1st. As I rethink my personal history through the lenses of today, I like to believe that I would not have been unkind if you were to suggest this was an act of faith. But you’d need not describe the nature of the faith - it’s true residence and ownership. Certainly, there was something behind my valvoline, gasoline and 13mm box-end wrench…but in my mind of those years, it was not Jesus as I’ve come to know Him. The faith I had, the trust I had been so graciously gifted for all those years, that was His…His grace so wonderful, I have yet to hear a whisper of, “I told you so…”
I see this gift so much clearly now that I have been given eyes to see, and my heart and mind have been wrung out, and in turn, to be filled. I image this will be repeated over the years of my life – I have grand designs that one day I will grow up to be a wonderful loofah. Whatever it may be, it beats the hard bathroom sponge relegated to the dark recesses under the bathroom sink.
Within a week of arriving to Farmington I was gainfully employed, and my journey to archaeological conquest was quickly underway. What would those years have looked like if I’d been following Jesus? I find my romantic memories of these years seldom shared, but they give me pause regarding the potential of gifts unrealized - The reality that God’s dreams for us are so much larger than we have for ourselves. If we could only hold His dreams for us as our own.