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Prone To Wander Myth

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Entries in trust (4)


Trust is earned in inches.

Safe people, "guard your trust as if it were money in the bank."  - Dr. John Townsend


In the movie, The Horse Whisperer, a young girl and her prized horse, "Pilgrim," get hit by a tractor trailer truck, head on. 

In order to protect his vulnerable rider, Pilgrim throws her off  to the side seconds before the impact.  But Pilgim is not as fortunate as his rider; he takes the full force of the truck's grill in the chest.  He is thrown down the road; his flesh is sliced open, his psyche smashed.  He is a trauma victim.

Trauma steals capacity:  Capacity for trust.  Capacity for connection.  The horse has lost both.

The horse's one hope is Tom Booker, the "Horse Whisperer;" but rehabilitation will be slow.  In a moment of triggered fright, "Pilgrim" breaks out of the round pen, to be found miles away at the long end of a distant field.  Tom Booker responds to the distance with patience.  

The horse is a footbal field away; so Booker sits down in the grass.  And waits.  He won't violate the horse's sense of safety.  

When the time is right, Booker approaches Pilgrim by taking a few steps, less than the length of a car; then sits.  And waits. Then more steps; more sitting.  It takes all day to cover the distance of a football field, until Booker finally has permission to connect within arm's reach; in the horse's own space.  Trust was earned in inches.

Safe people know your capacity to connect shrinks when you're processing a painful experience you can't metabolize.  So they earn your trust inch by inch; for as long as it takes.


Don't let pragmatism kill your dream.

Pragmatism can kill your desires.  Statements like the following will sabotage budding dreams:

  • "How will we pull this off?"  (vs Why should we do this?)
  • "I'd love to pursue this, but I don't have the time, money, resources." 
  • "I've always dreamed of becoming a [________], but how will I provide for my family?"
  • "I really want to move forward in my calling, but I guess I'll wait until the economy rebounds a bit."

Let me also be clear that there must be discernment involved.  Launching into your dream or calling without having heard some directive from God can be foolish and bring about unnecessary pain.  Listening for his counsel and wisdom is critical. That having been said, don't allow pragmatism to prevent you from taking the necessary, God-inspired risks that will bring you further into your place in the Story.

Pragmatism's favorite word is "how?"  Someone has to answer that question, but we can leave that to our Supply Captain who has any and every resource at his disposal. 

God recently asked me and my wife to move our family 1,000 miles with no job.  I knew that's how he wanted us to proceed because it's what I had been hearing for two years.  Believe me, it was tempting to hedge our bets and say, "Sure we'll move, God;  if you give us a job first."  Or, "Let's wait until we've got some good job leads." 

In fact, our trust did waver during the journey.  Other's we hoped would support us thought we were nuts.  But in the end, we moved without a job.  And God showed up.  Brilliantly.  He provided a job for my wife that couldn't have come any other way than by his intervention.  That's just one of the ways in which he took care of things.

Pragmatism could have killed our dream, for we did not have a clue as to "how" God was going to provide.  But our Supply Captain always has something up his sleave...



New podcast -- "Let us take the adventure"

Let us take the adventure - Join Jim as he talks about the adventure he and his family have been on for the last five years; the pain of unfulfilled longing, and the journey it has taken them on as they arrive at the place of their dreams (with no job, no friends, and the great unknown).  (9/10/09)


River rescue - how I almost drowned and what it taught me

Three years ago, I almost drowned.  I was rafting on a Class Five river when our raft hit a boulder and we were hurled out.  Our brief Rafting 101 talk we received back at base camp did nothing to prepare me for the shock of icy water, the panic of drowning, or the continuing slap of brown river water I was choking on. 

I tried to estimate whether I could swim laterally against the current to either bank.  Not a chance.  It was too far.   My guide and raft were too far up river to pull me out, the current having carried me too quickly away from our raft.  My only hope was another guide's raft about 50 yards ahead.  Would he see me?  I had no strength or ability to contribute to my hope of rescue.  The water was strong and fast.  I was powerless and in danger of drowning.   And as they say, the orange life jacket just makes it easier to find your dead body. 

Thankfully, the other boat saw me.  I don't know how the guy pulled my soaking, 6 feet- 2 inch, dead- weight body out of the water, but he did.

Later, while sorting through everything that happened God said, "Jim -- this wasn't about your failure to handle the situation.  It wasn't about your capacity at all.  It was about my ability to rescue you." 

This is the Gospel.  This is the ongoing nature of the Christian life -- Jesus' ability to 'save' us didn't simply cease after we said 'yes' to his offer to "save us from our sins."

We need the experience, not simply the idea or hope of being rescued.  Through these experiences of rescue, we gain a perspective that is more real and confident than the one we had on paper.  We can only gain that experience by taking the risks God is asking us to -- by placing ourselves in situations (again, when God counsels us to take the risk) where unless he rescues us, we're toast. 

Is there anything he's asking you to risk, so that you can experience more life?