Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Long Road

Sometime (soon?) I really will try to finish the tale of the Basils and Persil. Sadly, travel and to-do lists have interrupted my plans for serialization. In the meantime, I'm throwing a post up here on the ol' blog about something else I'll maybe one day be able to give long-form treatment to. For now, it's just a dashed-off post about the theme that's coalescing in many of my conversations this summer during my sojourn back to the U.S.

I'm fresh off the phone from an interview with the second of two pastors I've talked with in the past two days in order to profile their churches for a magazine that does an annual special issue on the fastest growing churches in America. Both of these pastors are the first pastors for their young churches that were planted (i.e. "founded," to use a non-Christian-ese word for it) 10 years ago and two years ago, respectively.

One of the things that stood out to me in both conversations is the amount of time that passed between each pastor's initial sense of conviction that planting a church is what he had been given to do and the actual initiating of that process.

Perhaps I'm struck by that because it's the reality of what I'm living in these days, too, as my French-learning and article-writing proceed: a vision formed years ago before I had any idea how to get there has legs now. It's still a fetus, not yet birthed even, let alone grown to adulthood or even adolescence, but pretty much all its parts are there.

Yesterday evening I was in a meeting where the founder of an organization noted that the vision he started working toward 45 years ago is finally gaining real traction. This sounds like FOREVER in our fast-food, smartphone culture.

Yet, as with the slow-food, slow-travel, slow-living, slow-everything movement, there's a wonderful beauty in being patient with the things that can't happen immediately. A deepened sense of gratitude, humility, and appreciation accompanies things that come slowly.

So the moral of the story is: don't give up on your dreams and visions! Slow is the way to go! Not all growth and progress is visible. Just ask those little sprouts that popped up in my basil pots to my great delight a couple weeks before I handed them over to the basil babysitter for the summer (so maybe this is part of the Basil and Persil story after all?!).