Crazy Golf (25-03-22)
Where there is no vision, the people perish: (Proverbs 29.18 King James version)
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. (Proverbs 29.18 The Message)
Over the weekend, we were treated to an afternoon of crazy golf with the grandchildren. It was part of a church fund-raiser and the crazy golf had been hired in and laid out inside the large hall. There were nine ‘holes’ crafted in wood with the usual challenge of obstacles: arches and tunnels; right-angle bends; dangling obstructions; and tricky slopes. There was a castle, a windmill and a station to be negotiated as well as a small twin sister who was happy toddling about trying to steal the golf balls. Melody and Zachary had never tried crazy golf before, but they soon got the hang of it with a bit of help from Nana and Grandad. Melody even managed a ‘hole in one’ at one of the easier holes.
During the recent Leading your Church into Growth conference (LyCiG), we talked about vision and seeing new possibilities, and often that involves seeing clearly beyond the immediate presenting obstacles. When we are looking for a way forward in the church, it is easy to get daunted by all the negatives and all the problems. We need a God-given vision to help us to move forward.
Vision is all about looking and seeing clearly. Without it, we are likely to go off track. At some crazy golf holes, the children were inclined to hit the golf ball in the general direction and hope for the best. The ball invariably got stuck in the obstacle, where it was then awkward to move forward. And if they were not paying proper attention, the ball could even bounce out of the wooden tray altogether where it could never find its rightful destination. It was a question of keeping an eye on the ball and the appropriate direction of travel.
I find the Message translation of the Proverbs verse more helpful and perhaps more explicit. ‘If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves.’ We are to look carefully through God’s eyes and we are to be alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Then we will discover a way forward through the various obstacles and challenges without getting stuck or indefinitely side-tracked.
The seven of us who went to the LyCiG conference back in February met again this week. There was a real energy and excitement, as we reflected back on what we had learnt. We will be sharing more with the churches in the coming weeks and months through our activities and within our services. Please join us in praying for fresh vision for our churches as we move forward together in the sure knowledge that with God’s vision, we will flourish. When we attend to what God reveals, we will be most blessed.
The LyCiG Prayer for Growth
God of mission, who alone brings growth to your Church. Send your Holy Spirit to give vision to our planning, wisdom to our actions, joy to our worship and power to our witness. Help our churches to grow in numbers, in spiritual commitment to you, and in service of our local community, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
You are my vision – a contemporary version by Rend Collective