Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Tale of 3 Lands

I'm in the midst of a faith journey.  I've committed myself to an enormous step of faith and there is no turning back, there is just the journey, complete with all of it's obstacles, challenges, opportunities and victories.  

Yesterday, I was reflecting on the various 'lands' that I am visiting along the way.  My trip began in the Land of Wow.  The Land of Wow is filled with possibilities, opportunities and excitement.  My heart beats a little faster when I am in the Land of Wow.  My vision is crystal clear and I can see outcomes in the opportunities.  I love the Land of Wow!  If I could live here forever, I would!  Dreams and vision cost nothing at this point.  There are no bad ideas, train wrecks or plans gone awry.  There is just a series of happy thoughts that are filled with excitement.  If you are a baseball fan, the Land of Wow is best described as a sliding triple with the occasional walk off home run thrown in just to keep things interesting.  It is breath taking in every way!!

Not far from the Land of Wow is the Land of How.  The Land of How is a difficult place.  If the sun is always shining in the Land of Wow, it's always overcast in the Land of How.  Dreams are free in the Land of Wow but the bills come due in the Land of How.  I'm convinced there is a cemetery for dreams in the Land of How because that's where most of them die.  They die because How demands that I sort out the action steps that will turn Wow into How.  It's not necessarily that the dreams were weak or that the idea wasn't a good one.  It's more that the cost of Wow is higher than what most people are willing to pay.  Turning Wow into reality isn't cheap, easy or quick.  Most dreams, God given or otherwise, come to an end right here.

Navigating through the Land of How demands courage, focus and determination.  The Land of How requires faith... gutsy, Red Sea crossing, Lion and Bear Wrestling, Giant Killing, Fiery Furnace, a Cloud the size of a man's hand kind of faith.  This is 'God, I remind you of Your promises' faith. The kind that asks and acts boldly.  It's the kind of faith that will get you out of the boat to walk on the waves.

The last time I went on a journey like this, I was almost overcome in the Land of How.  There were days, many in fact, when HOW almost snuffed out the WOW that I carried in my heart.  The size of the mountains, the giants in the land and obstacles that were set in front of me were overwhelming.  I'm doing this differently this time.  I return often to the Land of Wow and let the scope and 'bigness' of the vision fill my heart.  I ponder the goodness of God and His faithfulness to me thus far.  I reflect on the promises that He has made and fulfilled.  I come back to remind myself that 'thus far, the Lord has helped me...'

Each time I do, the Land of How becomes a little less intimidating and overwhelming.  I am learning (again and still) that there are things I must do but there are things that only God can do.  When I try to do what only God can do, the results are never what they could be.  God doesn't need my 'help' to make it happen.  He just needs me to be true to what He's asked me to do.  Sometimes it seems that the most important part of this journey is allowing God to do His part while I stay focused on mine.  

I'm making a fascinating discovery.  Ever so slowly but at the same time in a very real and profound way, I am seeing a new land taking shape around me.  It's the Land of WHOW.   WHOW is the place where Wow meets How and vision becomes reality.  It's a messy, complicated place with more questions than answers, with loose ends and gaping holes, but it's the place where God works and creates.  It's the place where He stretches me, surprises me, challenges me and changes me. It's the place where if I'm willing to stick with Him and stick with the dream, He fulfils His promises and makes something out of nothing.  

Unfortunately, (or maybe not so unfortunately) there are no direct flights from WOW to WHOW.  You have to pass through HOW multiple times in order to get to WHOW.  It's enough to make some people give up on the journey and take up residence in either WOW or HOW, but the truth is, nothing happens in WOW or HOW.  All of the action is in WHOW! The weather can swing from bright and sunny to overcast and blustery in the blink of an eye, but if you can hold on just a little bit longer, WHOW becomes an amazing place of fruitfulness.

Happy travelling!

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