A lot of people talk about process.
Why? Why is it mysterious for so many, educational for others and misunderstood by so many?
(I wrote this 3 years ago. I believe it still stands today. I actually wrote about process in my book, The Interrupted Process.)
Too frequently we do not understand the pattern or the process. People equate process with education. Education is simply a stone of the foundation. A key. The answer is found in the person of wisdom, Christ himself. Wisdom is critical to the finding of answers. More than knowledge, it is the wielding of the knowledge. We are told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of the wisdom. The recognition of “He is God and I am not.”
With that in mind the last few weeks I have contemplated the growth desired in the body of Christ. Here is one of the patterns I have noticed over the years. Because we often put an emphasis on the performance, everyone wanted to be “there.” The difficulty is many “theres” are only achieved by a walking out of various things. Sometimes it is unraveling relationship strands. Other times it involves in recognition of the value that is within you. So, not everyone can be there at the same time with out change. (It gets weirder when the focus is on 2 hours of a Sunday morning, forgetting the value of the remaining 166 hours of the week. This is not the Coliseum contest or the X Games. Many gifts operate and function with great results outside the four walls of our church gatherings.)
I want to offer one observation here that I think fits most circumstances. There appear to be two groups I see in operation today. One group is those that “have.” This have group has knowledge, wisdom, mature functioning gifts and talents, the result of being tempered in the fires of life. The other group is the “have nots.” This group is not as knowledgeable, though they may have education and be smart. They have been gifted in areas, but perhaps not wise in usage, timing or faith. There is nothing wrong with this group other than the need to mature in various areas. Sometimes this is emotional or spiritual, having not yet received the revelation of the function or gift or talent. Too often things that are good do not manifest or appear, often leaving disappointment, fear or anger.
Let me make a bold statement. My children can not fail. (Nor can my grandchildren.) Even when their actions are disappointing or with fault, they do not have to be concerned with what I am going to think or how I am going to respond. They CAN NOT FAIL! I feel the same about our fellowship and it’s people.
The question that is never asked but hovers, is that of how do we get the “have nots” to the place of “have.” I see this solution. Too often in our immaturity (Whether it be chronological, spiritual or emotional.) we do not see what we need to be “accomplished” or mature. We may recognize that is who we “want to be like,” but do not see the steps or have no awareness of steps. We just know that is who we want to be.
A simple example is the son who wants to be like his dad. He sees daddy shave so he wants to shave. (My grandson watched me put on some cologne one day and a short while later he came out smelling like his “daddy.”) If a son sees a dad working on a car, it is not unlikely he will find his lawnmower taken apart or some thing. (Yes, I did that!) The problem arises when the educational part might be missing. Or the timing is not right. (A five year old does not need to shave…) Or the handling of a tool or something is not correct. Too often we “safe proof” without offering wisdom or instruction. Safe guards or safe proofing may work on some things. BUT…it is not unlikely the “child” will seek the experience.
So, what is the process? In it’s simplest terms much of what the “have not” needs is available from the “have.” I believe in legacy, so this is important to me. I am not leaving legacy. I am building legacy. Here is something about legacy and the generations to come. The average trust fund established by a family is utilized properly by the generation following. But only one generation from there, things begin to fall apart. It gives new meaning to what we are doing with our children and the generation to follow. Because the grandchildren are the generation of “difficulties.”
I have long said that my desire is that my ceiling be your floor. But if you are unwilling to stand on the ceiling and use it as a floor, you will be forced to learn what many of us already know. The thought process is simple. Imagine a race of 100 yards. Each generation going forward 20 yards each. The first generation beginning at 0 and making it to the 20 yard line. As the next generation would you prefer to begin at the 20 and move forward or begin at the 0 and only get to the 20? Silly isn’t it? And yet many do just that.
“Haves…” To you I submit the following thoughts. God has provided in your life and the life of your family and he has brought you to place of maturity. While the world may speak of retirement and “pulling over to the side of the road,” so to speak, that is not the way of the kingdom. The way of the kingdom is to share, mentor and motivate the young. Never look at the young as a way to get somewhere or to get something. Be willing to reach out.
To the “have nots,” allow the “haves” to invest in your life. Go to them. Inquire of them. Find out what they know. Ask them to help you. Be willing to allow them the time of speaking into your lives. Too often the “have nots” are unaware of their lack or their “white spaces.”
My five children are all over 25 years old. Each one of them will call me with questions about finance, relationships, work and employment and a myriad of other topics. They have learned the wisdom of their father. Many come to me to ask. How could I do anything but respond?
(In part because I have made a number of mistakes, lived long and figured a few things out!)
And if dialog is allowed both sides will learn, prosper and see the kingdom advance.Consider that we might one day all be “haves.” It is not impossible!