“Without a vision the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18)
“Some men see things as they are and say why; I dream things that never were and say why not?”
“I have a dream” ~ Martin Luther King
“The best Young Life work is yet to be done.” ~ Jim Rayburn
This morning I was reading the newspaper over a strong cup of Peet's coffee when an article grabbed my attention. It was about Israeli scientist, Dan Shechtman, who won this year's Nobel Peace prize in chemistry. The award was for his discovery of a new crystalline chemical structure that seemed to violate the laws of nature. His colleagues mocked him, insulted him, and exiled him from his research group. Shechtman said he never doubted his findings and considered himself merely the latest in a long line of scientists who advanced their fields by challenging the conventional wisdom and were shunned by the establishment because of it. The article goes on to say that the discovery fundamentally altered how chemists conceive solid matter. Since the discovery, quasi crystals have been produced in laboratories and a Swedish company found them in one of the most durable kinds of steel; now used in products such as razor blades and think needles made specifically for eye surgery.
This all got me thinking. We can learn so much from the scientific community regarding their fever pitch curiosity and relentless pursuit of the endless wonders of the created world. I find that we as Christians rarely possess a spiritual curiosity like this and that we in ministry can settle into a routine that rarely changes.
Jim Rayburn said, “The best Young Life work is yet to be done.” What if that is true? What if there are things that God is longing to show us about reaching kids and how we do ministry? He is an infinite God; the Creator of a vast universe that literally explodes our imagination to wonder and drops us on our knees in worship. What if God has so much more for us? What if we could put our agendas aside and open our minds and hearts wide to what God wants to show us in our lives and ministries?
What blocks us from a Nobel Prize type of discovery? I believe the answer lies in two primary places; in us and in others. There reside the voices of negativity. Nothing throws water on a fire faster than the “we can’t do that; it’s not possible” mentality. Some of the greatest discoveries in history were met with ridicule and even assassination. God forbid that we assassinate each other when someone brings up a wild, crazy, “stupid”, never done before idea.
I want to encourage us to listen to God for wild, crazy, stupid, never done before ideas with YL Capernaum. I want to encourage you to color outside the lines. I want to exhort all of us on how we respond to a new idea. It is so easy for us to react immediately in a negative way!
Instead, let’s listen and not respond. You know...”be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,” as James tells us. Listen and pray. Maybe even take a few days to seek the Holy Spirit asking is this from you. Let’s continue to be pioneering. I believe this is in our DNA in YL Capernaum.
Has something been stirring in you that seems impossible? Don’t shut it down. Pray. Share it. Maybe even step out and try it. What’s the worst that could happen? Mocking, ridicule, exile, and failure? Or maybe God’s Nobel Prize for ministry. I’ve got to go now because I have this “stupid” idea I am working on!