Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New Frontier Crossing

The frontier is the one between the ground and the air. Or perhaps it's the one between my comfort zone and what's outside it. Moving into this new landscape ranks among the scariest things I've ever done, or which have happened to me. Nevertheless, the rewards are very high, if you've ever watched eagles or buzzards or other similar birds soar on thermals with barely a beat of their wings, far above the ground. I've watched as para gliders moved across mountain precipices and hung over valleys thousands of feet in the air, and thought, "I'd love to do that too."  Well, I have now. And it was every bit as thrilling as I thought it would be. But of course it came with fears and doubts too. You worry that it won't work, you worry when you make a turn   that you will upset the fragile stability of your flight by introducing something new, or when you hit turbulence that something terrible will happen and you'll be pitched into free fall. It's as these things do happen and you become accustomed to them, that you begin to relax and enjoy. It does take a while though.
It made me appreciate anew the daunting effect of surveying an unknown frontier with a view to crossing it. I remembered my first visit to a prayer meeting! (Yes!)  It made me wonder about people who want to come to church, never having done so before, or those who are considering making the faith journey into Christianity. I also thought about the church moving from the safe areas of ancient points of view, into those new and risky places such as those to which the recent General Assembly of the Church of Scotland took a step closer. There are many who are unsure about this movement. But ultimately, it's a movement deeper into the landscape of grace, which actually always feels risky, because in the land of grace, we always relinquish control. Because I believe in the beauty and centrality of grace, I believe we will not founder as we go forward, hard though it might seem. A bit like flying really. 

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