For those who've been reading my blog regularly, you've noticed I stopped for 5 or so weeks, perhaps beset by writer's block, or maybe abducted by mad fur traders wending their way north . . . something like that.
Truth be told, I've feeling a little blank and could think of nothing to write about which might be interesting to explore or had my mind captivated. I've been a tad blah. You know, when the mental "whatever's" overrun you and they slowly snuff inspiration or insight. The words for writing stay put and the screen blank.
So rather than writing, I've been reading about musicianship, thinking about drumming and, well, drumming. I'm playing in this eclectic jazz trio with guitarist Jon Hill and bassist Jim LaMontagne. They're both imagineers (sometimes I also call imagine/Northampton people imaginistas, imaginarians or imaginati). We've been after the music since before Christmas and we're beginning to find our own voice. Soon, (when we have the cash), we'll go in the studio to record a demo, and use it book some gigs. Booking gigs will enable us to add our artistic voices to the Northampton's arts conversation. We've always wanted to connect with, and support this arts culture here. I still have to say that drumming since 15 years of age remains one of the prime ways I feel most alive on this planet.
Rather than writing, I've also been working at doing a job search. I'm lousy at it, always have been. But because these days are seriously lean financially for us, i.e., my work as a counselor has substantially dried up, I need to find other work, at least part-time. Given the missional mindset I've embraced, it makes a great deal of sense to get a job in the community and connect with folks who don't follow Jesus. So I plod forward with resume building, familiarizing myself with the work environment around these parts, and exploring where I might fit. To be embarrassingly honest, my heart is not very much in it, but I know I must to get out there.
Rather than writing, I've been exercising and prayerwalking. I'm in a middling spiritual malaise, perhaps even mildly depressed with all the financial stress we've been under. Getting the blood flowing, taxing my body some, and clearing my head with prayer and supplication in the early morning has been a refreshing spiritual wellspring. My prayer has been fervent for us, imagine and Northampton, particularly a handful of people I know who do not follow Jesus . . . yet. Added blessing is the fact I'm losing some weight and strengthening, which lightens my mood. Prayer and push ups work to clear the fog.
Rather than writing, I'm still working into the missional way of life, continuing to read/study the best practitioners in the world on the subject. Such a way of life has become a passion for me. In turn, I've been pondering imagine's missional future and examining how we fit as it develops. There's bit of restlessness percolating in me as if the horizon hints something new, or another trail. I'm not sure, but it has that feel. I've been familiar with it all my life being a pioneer and a cultural explorer. Perhaps it will be a further development of our imagine/Northampton mission, or an extension of the mission elsewhere, a new way of being imagine, or something completely out of view now. Maybe it just means going strategically deeper into what we are doing in town. Time will tell as the Holy Spirit enables.
Don't read we want to leave or are losing interest. We would never just abandon imagine merely because we felt dissatisfied or wanted a change. We are committed true believers in what God has called us to do here.
All in all, it's been a weird summer with a curious mix of emotional undercurrents and tugs. There've been places of life and laughter intermingling with places of anxiety and fatiguing struggles in these weeks. I know I'll pass through it all intact and on my way to imagine's fall and winter. Hope tracks me down eventually and passion returns ready to roll forward. I've always liked that.
And, I might be writing about the Missio Dei, the Kingdom of God, communitas and incarnating the way of Jesus in our communities pretty soon. I think I still have words waiting to join the parade.