Friday, July 11, 2008

Knowing where you're going is overrrated

Life is false to formula.. In our world, planning is worse than a mistake-it's an evil.. Ever try to steer a cat or a puppy? No one steers a living thing, it moves forward one step at a time. No living enterprise moves forward by 'planning'.. When you come to a pothole, you don't need a strategic plan to get by. You improvise. After a brief pause, you ad lib your zig zags until you regain your bearings. " -Leonard Sweet

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going'
Tomas Merton

I have been waiting for years for someone to write a "praise song" incorporating the wonderful, terrifying, heretically orthodox gospel of Abraham in Hebrews:

"Abraham left home..

 not knowing where he was going..."
(Heb. 11:8)

The father of our faith, the ultimate patriarch....was absolutely clueless.

Why haven't we been brave and Abrahamic  enough to admit the same?

Because we have to lie.

Erwin McManus  ("Unstoppable Force" )comments that pastors like their people to think they know where they're going...

"In other words,

 we lie."

He concludes that folks can deal with not knowing where they're going if they know why they're going.

How about a few more songs in our soundtrack/jukebox/gatherings that tell the truth.

In these days of shift in church and culture,
the only leaders who know what they're doing
are those who know they don't know what they're doing..

or where they are going.
-Norm Stretch

On to the song:

I was hoping I didn't have to do it.

Thank God Jason Upton did it.

We heard it here in Fresno recently.

It was exhilirating.

It must be a new and unreleased song, as the only place I was able to google it was here, 
where someone who likely was at the same concert I was, heard the song, and was inspired by it  to make a painting.

The lyrics I were able to scribble down were:

"I don't know where I'm going
I've been blinded by the truth..

Between the graveyard and the garden
There's a road that leads to You."

Two U2 songs dovetail here:


"And I have no purpose/
And I have no map


And I have no reasons
No reasons to go back."

And Pastor Isaac is a true son of Abraham to also slice the lost-but-found longing of "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"   to the unsettled stangers of 

Is this the ecclesia? A people always called out? A people never arriving, never fixed or settled; rather, always to come—a provisional people, nomads living in tents, worshiping in tabernacles. The church: a people hastening to the edge of history’s collapse, and waiting for the city of promise to come down from heaven; a wandering people, marching (in circles?) in this chaotic wilderness at the border of the promised land, the heavenly city. The temptation in our wilderness is to build lasting houses, comfortable accommodations filled with the comforts of accommodation, which promise to shield permanently the desert winds—structures of order that promise reasonable and responsible defenses against the relentless bombardment of violent sand-storms, anarchic whirlwinds
(Read his full post at "wandering church: U2 and hebrews")

Celebrate clueless faith.
Build nothing, or sand will prevail.

"The oppposite of faith is not doubt,

but certainty..

.Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and the discomfort and letting it be there until some light returns."
-Anne Lammott.


  1. Dave, thanks for reading my sermon.


  2. How about Misty Edwards:
    I will follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
    Wherever he goes, I will follow him.

  3. Abraham knew precisely where he was going: the Promised Land. he just didn't know exactly how to get there. The Israelites in the desert knew how to get where they were going (the Promised Land), the first generation just rejected it. We know where we're going, and we have accepted it through Messiah. Simply because we can't see how every step plays out doesn't mean we don't know where we're going. That's the nature of progressive revelation. God's given us the map -- it's in His Word. He's given us a guide to how to follow the map -- it's called Torah. Sure, we need to admit, like when I'm without my glasses, we can't make out perfectly what's in front of us. And those of us who are shepherds have to admit that, you're right. But a lack of clear vision doesn't mean we don't know the path; it just means we have to grope our way down it.

    The country group Restless Heart released a song back in 2004 called "Feel My Way To You." You can't do that unless you have idea where you're going... but you have to feel your way along, with the guide of His Word. And doubt is natural. "For now we see through a glass, darkly." And one day -- let it come soon, O Most High! -- the darkness will be taken away. We won't have to worry about groping for our glasses, or for the next door. We will see clearly as we stand in the Light of the Messiah, face to face...

    Until then... we feel our way down a path, reading the map He gave us. It's dark, so we use the flashlight of the Spirit... "until the dawning of the day when the shadows flee away, and the Morning Star arises in our hearts."


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!