• Five Minute Friday :: Result Linkup
When you search the internet, eBay, or Amazon, you get a results page or list that's supposed to relate to your search terms. If you know how to construct a search string, your results (theoretically) will be better focused and more usable. But theory and reality often diverge.
As they say, the best way to predict the future is to create it. I've spent my life preparing to serve the inner city, an adult lifetime preparing to serve the urban church. And my call to free-range rather than continuing to pursue more settled, authorized ministry hasn't gotten many responses. Both overall result and discrete results have been disappointing and disconcerting. How can my actual life results converge with my intentions, my dreams, and my sense of call?
How to Get Results
As an earthbound lover of creation seeking to live more locally and better steward gifts the Giver has showered on you, you identify good and easily accessible land or someone offers you a plot. You prepare the soil, you plant, you weed, you water, or the skies send rain. Maybe you test the ground and the water and add nutrients. How's the air quality? You wait. Together we hope for good results. Results that previous experience and quality inputs lead you to expect.
When we pivot from horticulture and agriculture to the results we aspire to as humans seeking to contribute to the greater good, quality – and relevant – inputs still are key. But sometimes you need to go with what you have and trust the Spirit.
Via the prophet Jeremiah, God charged the exiles in Babylon to bloom where they'd been planted by working for, planning and preparing for, and therefore expecting the well-being of that strangely foreign place where they'd been sent. Because my neighbor's welfare is my healthiness is your wellness is all of our well-being. But similar to when we interact with earth and dirt, we sometimes need to tweak or add to inputs so they'll be more compatible with our desired results.
How many times here have I observed esperar in Spanish means hope, expect, and wait? When our actions align with our hopes, we can expect results that validate our waiting.
Sometimes you need to go with what you have and trust the Spirit. In fact, it would be unusual for anyone to possess everything they imagine would lead to the best result. Your geography might not be optimal for containing your ideal results. The local population may be too small or in general have a perspective that doesn't "get" your aspirations. Because of finances and location, the only place you easily can get needed education and skills right now maybe is okay but not top tier. Given that theory and reality often diverge, often you need to approach desired long run results with small steps filled with possibility.