“Truly I tell you,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his hometown.’” Luke 4:24
Anytime anyone is involved in strategic planning or vision casting, they realize they often run into paradigm shifts. Culture moves and emotions rage. A paradigm shift is a fundamental change in how we approach something challenging our unspoken assumptions. Every generation deals with the fallout from paradigm shifts. Some people embrace change. Others fight it.
I made the decision about three years ago to walk away from an entire people group. It was obvious to me that these particular people had no interest in allowing a necessary shift to occur. They were satisfied with comfort. They were satisfied with stagnation. When you are a visionary and gifted in strategy (in biblical terms, “prophesy”), it is almost impossible to ride out the hostility of resistance. Especially knowing that unless change occurs death is a certainty.
Many times, over the course of the past three years, I’ve asked myself whether walking away was the Christian thing to do or if I took the easy way out? (Believe me. It wasn’t easy.) When you understand poor decisions and improper attitudes are driving leadership, it is virtually impossible to achieve successful change. Some see success as staying the same for as long as we can. Others realize success takes forward motion. What forces the forward motion to occur is a paradigm shift.
Last night, the Lord allowed me to see what life could be like if hard heads and heavy hearts worked together instead of fighting the much-needed shift. I dreamed that I reengaged with this particular people group and they listened! It wasn’t that I was trying to get my way. I was seeking God’s way and inviting them in on the search. They were willing to listen to reason, strategize for the future, and ride the wave of change. When we ride rapids in an inner tube or we play in the surf by releasing ourselves to the power of the ocean, life becomes enjoyable and we make progress. Cooperating with rapids or waves ends up being fun! Fighting the power wears us out!
God allowed two things to occur in my dream. The first I’ve already shared – they listened. The second is I found peace in knowing that I did all I could do to hold these people’s hands in order to manage the paradigm shift. I walked away in my dream as if God said to me, “The ending would have been the same. I would have still led you away. The only difference in your dream is they listened.” It helps to remind myself that people refused to hear Christ’s truth when He walked the earth. Some things never change. Mainly because people don’t want them to change. Change is scary.
NOTE: Someone emailed me yesterday and commented that my blogs are often negative. I’m sorry if you see it that way. I struggle with God most of the time. I’d rather share pictures of my new puppy, Beaux. However, instead of looking at my blog as negative, perhaps we can see it as sharing a teachable moment? Remember: Lessons Learned is all about my sharing with you what God has taught me.