Vitality Update 10.04.19

Posted on October 4, 2019.
Messiah Church,
The story of Abraham, as he is called to leave Haran, always hits me hard. What did he hear? Genesis 12 says he is told by God to “Go forth from your country…And I will bless you…and make you a great nation.” What he did he do in response? He went forth. He was 75 years old. He heard God say GO and he went.
Remember that this was thousands of years ago with a life so different. Animals, people, tents, bedding, pots and pans traveled with Abraham and that didn’t even include the family, servants, officials and those who ran his household. How long was the caravan and how hard was it to move without moving vans, freeways, rest stops, Starbucks or Subway sandwiches much less bathrooms or water? Still he went on and on and on.
When I read the Bible, I think about putting myself into the stories. What would I do? What would I say to God? I’ve always thought that Abraham was brave and obedient in his call to leave his home and do it for a future blessing, not an immediate one. But the reality for me is I don’t really want to wait for a future blessing. I’m afraid. Or doubtful. Or stubborn. Or I want something right now. And then I secretly hope God won’t ask me to do something really hard because maybe I just won’t want to or be able to obey.
Abraham was 75 when God called him to leave his home. I’m almost 70. What is God calling me to do right now?
In these autumn years of my life, no matter how I might have wrestled with fears or stubbornness in the past, right now I want to be still. And hear God. And obey. And that is why I am part of the Vitality Team. The Vitality Team is called to go through a ten step process of discernment. The process is to be covered in prayer, to be guided by God’s Word and to be openly communicated to the body of believers at Messiah.   
I don’t want to grow old and be unwilling to change. I don’t want to get stuck in my ways just because that is what’s always been done. I don’t want my future to be what I already experienced.  No, I want to be still and be in God’s Word. And listen and watch and hear. And change. Could this change mean leaving something behind? Perhaps. Might it also mean a renewed sense of joy or hope or compassion? I hope so.
The process is just beginning. The team is talking and cooperating. Our pastor is hopeful and helpful. The ten steps are intriguing and challenging and make us think about where we are as a church, where we’ve been, what are the strengths and weaknesses of our body and how to become stronger.
I’m ready to take these steps and see where the journey takes Messiah Church. My prayer is that we will go together, hand in hand, as we try to find the way.
Toni Gibson
Vitality Team Member