Friday, August 11, 2006

In his book, Exiles, Michael Frost quotes Antoine de Saint-Exupery: "If you want to build a ship, don't summon people to buy wood, prepare tools, distribute jobs and organise the work; teach people the yearning for the wide, boundless ocean."
Frost then makes this observation: "In the West, the mainstream church is too focused on motivating its members to embrace the technicalities of shipbuilding without ever having first inspired them with a yearning to sail the high seas."
The first, shipbuilding, is mechanics. The yearning for the high seas, however, is a vision of passion that has been instilled deep within from hearing the voice of God. For these, shipbuilding is merely a means to an end, but the western church as made shipbuilding the end in and of itself.
Increasingly, more and more are leaving the shipbuilders union, tired of expending their efforts on vessels that are landlocked. Though they may not all know what to do, they know that there is something deep within that is calling them to the open sea. Setting their face into the wind, they are beginning to discover what they have been created for, the exhilerating freedom, and yes, the danger of the high seas. But this is where Jesus is walking, issuing the challenge to come and follow him.

Comments:
I'm sure you'd agree then at some point ships have to be built? And people have to build them? with His guidance , by His Spirit? Keep watch then for I believe I see a host of them who have the seed planted in them and the wind is stirring. Ships will be sailing soon.
 
I guess a question is do we have a ship that we can trust to take us where we want to go. Or even --- do we want to be a full time adventurer or shipbuilder. Early travelers to North America put up with some fairly dangerous and uncomfortable quarters to follow their dreams. Maybe this is really about "dream power." "Without a prophetic revelation the people sail according to their own imaginary map." Prov 29:18 NewRMacD version.
 
I mistakenly put another comment on the previous posting.
 
Do we have a ship? If He builds the ship we can trust in it and we can trust where it will go since He is the wind. Whether or not you wanna go is a decision one needs to make ahead of time having heard, "Go south to the road" Acts 8:26 Then trusting. Who knows where it will lead? yes,no?
 
I agree, ships have to be built. However, too often there has been much effort epended on building ships only to have them remain in the shipbuilding yards where they are admired for their size, beauty, craftsmanship, technolgy, etc. The purpose of the ship remains unfulfilled if it is never launched. If there are no people yearning for the high seas, then there really isn't any justifiable reason to build the ship. But there are increasing numbers of people launching out onto the high seas in response to the Spirit's stirring, calling deep unto deep.
 
Yeah. I think my ship's a pretty religious one because it measures the right cubits, golden cherubim on the deck...and a boomin' system for making joyful noises.

Or did I miss the point?

Good post, Carmen
 
HE is the ship - the One in whom "we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28) and HE is the shipbuilder - "the builder of ALL things is God" (Heb 3:4) and HE is the wind that drives the ship - "the wind blows where it wishes" (John 3:8). Could it be that we enjoy the "security" of the dock more than the "danger" of the open sea? As long as we're "tied up" or "tied down" by other things (e.g., fear, obligation), we'll miss the great adventure of living freely in Him.
 
Bob,
You didn't miss the point. Love your openess and honesty!
 
Lindsay,
GREAT POST! That's a whole other perspective.
 
It's the passion that is the issue. The heart stuff.
It's easy to get a ship or to build one, truly, but to let go & really run after the high seas when everything in our culture, our training, our backgrounds, & especially in our institutions inform us that building the ship is of the utmost important and that we can't succeed without it.
It's like students in a clasroom always asking what the teacher wants as if the correct regurgitated response will insure the best grade. When the teacher instead turns the question around and asks, "But, what do you want?" to the learner, the focus shifts to all the undiscovered territory within the learner/seeker.
Carmen, I like it. The objective is the heart...the passion for the High Seas. All else falls into place. The Holy Spirit is the teacher who is always turning the questions around.
 
loire,
You're right on! the issue is the heart. We've functioned from the head for so long, we are novices when it comes to the heart.
Your final statement hits the bull's eye. The Holy Spirit isn't satisfied with us merely being passive containers of information. He's intent on bringing us to the point of active particitpation in the advancement of the kingdom.
 
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