The need for a quick payoff seems to be greater than at any point in my life. The dance shows up on all fronts. Individuals demand that they receive immediate payback for personal sacrifice. Teams demand that they are rewarded for doing the right thing, especially if their efforts require anything resembling something difficult. Institutions of all types and sizes look for immediate validation of the results, reluctant to support an initiative just because it is right. I would love to say that I am have not succumbed to this thread however this would not reflect reality. I want to see positive results, otherwise why bother? I want assurances that my efforts are going to be rewarded; otherwise, what is the point? I need to see results quickly; doubt and fear are never very far away.
When I look at my heroes across the generations, I see a very different model. They knew that the immediate meant little if it was not sustainable. Each modeled how truth was best found in process instead of destinations. With an incredible individualized ability to weather the chaos and turmoil around them, they inspired communities beyond their reach and vision.
Difficulties were accepted as a part of life because of the call each thought existed within their hearts. In one case, “he [Abram] left the country of the Chaldees and moved to Haran. After the death of his father, he immigrated to this country where you now live, but God gave him nothing, not so much as a foothold.” (Acts 7.4)
Their focus on the strategic never distracted from the present. Each hero stumbled at various points in his or her life. In the awareness of each, I see a recommitment to reflect their calling in the moment they found themselves.
Life was always seen through the eyes of a community. They never lived life outside of others. Decisions, actions, and accountability were and are found with others.
Life's payoff in found in how we live. In the cry for the immediate, we have the opportunity to live for eternity.
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