In a book entitled “Stuck In the Weeds”, the author Paul Stutzman, decided to take a canoe trip from the beginning of the Mississippi River to New Orleans, Louisiana. His determination first of all put him in swampy area overgrown with weeds that made it most difficult to find the direction of the current that would lead him into the mighty Mississippi River. He struggled for several hours and eventually found his way to open water.
More than once he asked himself why he was ever trying the adventure but he was determined to continue trying even though it was frightful and difficult. He had a goal in mind and was determined to see the mission accomplished. A writer has penned the words, “too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” When we stop dreaming we start dying and with the pandemic episode there seems to be the haunting question asked, “should I continue dreaming or should I call it quits?”
In a book by the author Boisinger entitled “Canoeing in the Mountains”, it is based on the explorations of Lewis and Clark. The author explains the challenges that these explorers encountered as they sought to canoe the rivers believing they would find the Northwest Passage to the West Coast. They came to the reality that there was no navigable water route to the Pacific Ocean. There they stood looking at the Rocky Mountains, peak after snow-capped peak in front of them. This was the moment they had to leave their boats, find horses and make the giant adaptive shift that comes from realizing that your mental models for the terrain in front of you are no longer accurate. Why did Meriwether Lewis never consider retreat? Because he had a commission to fulfill.
The pandemic has traumatized us! These unimaginable times have taken the wind out of our sails and filled our days with uncharitable landscapes and dangers. There have been some positive and negative reactions in addressing social injustice and the need for racial reconciliation. There is a struggle with how to navigate the terrain, so we end up truly crossing the divides and arriving together at the place of love and unity.
We must not succumb to the mindset that today’s exhibitions are simply to “survive these times.” We need to let people know that our determination is to inspire people that we not only endured a plague, social injustice and economic upheaval, but we have made up our minds to go forward. We have discovered a new route and we are going to be true to our mission of seeing our dreams become true. We must “Dream Bigger, Do Greater!” We must “Set or fact to go forward” and Not grow discouraged when we face mountains. We must believe in a God who can heal our nation. We need honest, Godly people to be trailblazers, to take the risks in finding solutions and to encourage others to follow the right pathways. Our focus is not upon a virus, but upon the Victor over Sin, Satan and death itself. Jimmy Dean has said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
Happy sailing friend. No turning back.
Written by the Rev. Lynn Summers, First Church of God Community Worship Center and Pickaway County Ministerial Association for The Circleville Herald.