As this year’s mission trip draws to a close I am sitting in the Sanctuary of Luz Divina. Outside one group is building and securing scaffolding so we can lay the last of the bricks. Another group is taking measurements with a water level (if you’ve never done construction in a place like this, that's a long plastic tube filled with water), still another group is sanding down a swing set to repaint and restore for the children of the church and community. We even added another project this morning of draining the septic tank because some projects just have to be done when they have to be done!
100% of our team has been able to work and participate in every activity of the week. That’s no small miracle. I am reminded of this one great reality - community doesn’t happen because we decide to be a community. It doesn’t happen because we all share so much in common or that we are compatible. Community happens because we share a common purpose. The relationships that are built in these few days across language, cultural, and personality barriers are testimony that people who serve together for a common purpose find deep and meaningful relational connection. The tricky part is finding a common purpose that we passionately share.
I have a favorite picture of Luz Dvina that I want to share. Every site I’ve worked on in Bolivia has a similar situation. This is the stairway to the third floor and the new residence for Pastor Walter and his family. On Sunday the children are free to climb up and down. There’s no doubt it is a risky proposition. We have talked everyday about putting up a simple railing to protect anyone from falling over. When we bring it up the general consensus is, “Be responsible enough not to fall off!” If you don’t want your children on the stairs, don’t let them go on them. If you can’t keep your balance or you’re afraid of heights don’t climb. Those stairs have a purpose. They are there to get you to the third floor and guess what? They do that very well. Slow down. Take your time. Be careful. We can’t build railings around everything that might cause you to fall and break your neck!
While I’m quite sure that I wouldn't still feel better if the stairs had a railing, it does make me think about my own life. I need to accept more responsibility for my own actions, safety, words, relationships, and most importantly my walk with Christ and my willingness to serve the one common purpose entrusted to my care; that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It seems we spend most of our time securing the path so we can run at whatever speed or level of recklessness is most exciting to us instead of just accepting responsibility to be careful. Our choices and actions matter. How we live matters. What we serve matters. How we join together in a common goal matters. How we honor those around us matters.
Life and relationships, even our relationships with Jesus Christ must look a lot like this stairwell. Jesus said, "Narrow is the way and few are those that find it." Maybe that’s not because it’s so hard to see or understand, but because God built a perfectly functional stairwell to the next level of life. He just wants us to accept responsibility for climbing thoughtfully, purposely, and carefully.
Mon, July 29, 2013
by Dave Roberts filed under