Friday, August 20, 2010

These things take time

I like salsa.

A lot.

For a couple months now, I've been toying with the idea of planting a small garden to grow salsa-producing vegetables. However, not for a second do I expect the empty pots on my porch to suddenly sprout tomatoes, peppers, and wonderfully delicious cilantro.

That would be foolish.

No, I've got work ahead of me. I need to get dirt. To plant. To water. Then I need to wait. And wait.

And wait.

These things take time.

You don't get a garden overnight.

I'd be a fool to think I could.

However, I fail to apply that same principle to so many other parts of my life.

I expect to grow without a waiting process. I expect to perfect my leadership skills overnight. I expect lives and futures in my neighborhood to shift drastically in a moment.

But that's not how it works. These things take time.

I need to grasp this truth strongly right now in particular as 2nd Mile takes a path that I'm near certain is the most effective, most long-lasting, and best way forward . . . but is not on the timeline I would prefer.

People much more experienced and smarter than me have said inner city ministry will not show results for 12 to 15 years. I can accept that. At least theoretically.

But, I want to do it on my terms. I want the theory without the practice. If the best path to our vision is to shift drastically back and work with 1st through 3rd graders, I can accept the idea, but the practice is hard for me.

I want results now. I want to work out of my strengths. I want to do the kinds of things I feel I'm most passionate and most excited about, but more than that.

Much more than that.

I want to see lives in this neighborhood transformed.

I want to see cycles of poverty broken.

I want to see healthy families. Jobs. Stability. Emotional health. Kids growing up as kids without drama and violence and addiction and absentee parents.

I want to see disciples of Christ lead in a place where drug dealers are seen as neighborhood leaders.

And if I'm motivated by the long-term vision. I'm willing to wait. I'm willing to work where I feel unprepared for the sake of getting to that place.

I don't know how, but I am confident that He, who works out everything according to His Good Purpose, is in every step. And even if my logic doesn't accept that as good enough, it is.

It's more than enough.