Over the next couple of days, I am certain to reflect on the experiences of IGNITION; eager to share the exhilaration of worshipping GOD, the lessons learned, the encouragement of experiencing the passion of GOD followers heaven bent on making a difference for Christ.
However before moving too far along, I want to be certain to place the role of “event” in context with “process.”
The word “ignition” reminds me of NASA and station wagons.
When I was growing up, the space shuttle was an emerging program that captured the imagination of the nation; including teen boys like me. Being in Florida, it was a wonderful treat when a launch would occur from the Cape. Especially in the early missions, there was great anticipation as “mission control” would countdown.
As the systems checked out, and every element focused on one intent. . . the countdown would complete and the craft would have ignition. But ignition was not enough.
Then you would hear the NASA-radio-static-voice say, “We have lift off.” The crowds would cheer. We students would run outside and watch the firey engines leave a white blazing streak across the sky. But even lift off was not enough.
It was not until the mission was completed and the shuttle safely landed home did the NASA team seem to express a true sense of satisfaction and joy. Space travel has all kinds of peril and exhilaration, but it is a journey that goes way beyond ignition.
Our gathering at IGNITION was holy and miraculous. It was filled with a unity of spirit and tremendous experience of worship as we came and offered our praise recklessly to GOD. The equipping and discipling were rich. The fellowship and the new found relationships sweet. The Biblical insights and spiritual mentoring of high caliber. But having IGNITION is not enough.
When I was growing up, we owned a station wagon where the rear seats of the vehicle were facing backwards. The designers of the Oldsmobile station wagon must have thought it novel to face the kids backwards to annoy other drivers. I didn’t like sitting back there because I liked knowing where I was going, it seemed like being in the rear-facing seats of the station wagon, I could only see where I had been.
One of the things that was pure torture as a kid was waiting for my Mom. We would be all loaded up in the station wagon and the ignition was turned on, but sometimes we would simply sit in idle, going nowhere. It was a great thing when Dad could shift the station wagon into “D” and we would get going on our trip, our journey.
Turning on the IGNITION is not enough. If we sit in idle, if we simply cheer starting the engine, we are missing the point. It simply is not enough.
Don’t get me wrong, IGNITION is vital, however it is only one part of a larger vision–a GOD-sized mission. From the very moment mission control designed the plans for the space shuttle, every second that the space vehicle was off the launch pad, down to the return of the team home, there is a mission in mind. Our intention is the same.
With IGNITION, it is my prayer that we have begun a process that will find us returning to the heart of GOD. . .returning home.
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” -Jeremiah 24:7
This is the mission that IGNITION has started, a journey/process that requires more than just this initiating event.
There is a great parody done by Growing Leaders that well illustrates the relationship between events and process:
Sitting at this point in my life is like sitting in that blue station wagon with the rear-facing seat of my childhood. I can see where we have been, and truth be told, I am not satisfied with simply sitting in the car and just idling in place, going nowhere. The ignition is started, and it is past time to put this thing into “drive” and start this journey. I am eager for our Father to put this vehicle into gear and for us to move forward. . . better yet, upward.
We have IGNITION! Now what?