I will stand my watch and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give.
Then the Lord replied:
Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks to the end and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it.
Last weekend we gathered together with some of our parish leaders for what we called a “summit” to discuss our strategic planning for the future of our campus. As I have mentioned before (and as any of you readers who are also parishioners know) we are greatly in need of space. Our current facility is overwhelmed and dysfunctional on the weekends. We know we need to grow, to better accommodate those already coming and to continue to receive still more people in north Baltimore who don’t have a church.
And besides those obvious reasons, there’s also another one. We want to grow to a size that is, in itself, a convincing argument that our evangelization and disciple-making strategy is successful and worth replicating elsewhere.
What we would like to do is double our capacity.
So, some time ago we began looking at options and alternatives; we hired an architect to help us plan and study what could and should be done. Last weekend was another part of the process, getting smart people together to keep talking it through.
It takes time.
To sort of sum things up, at the end of the day’s meetings, I used the words of the prophet Habakkuk. Perhaps you’ve never heard of him or read that part of the Bible. He is called a “minor” prophet so he doesn’t even sound important. God called Habakkuk to be a prophet even though he himself knew he was no visionary. But God called him anyway. How can you be a prophet if you can’t see what’s ahead? Well Habakkuk decided to stand watch on the ramparts. In other words, he got himself into the best possible place to see something, if eventually there was something for him to see. And in response God says to him, “Good, now wait.” The revelation of what God is going to do is done in God’s time. Habakkuk’s job was to wait for it…in the most attentive way possible.
In the process, between the potential and the perfection, is often just where God wants us. Not to punish us, but to prepare us, to get us ready for the work he is going to do. That’s where we are with our strategic plan. On the ramparts, lively and attentive, trying to see what’s ahead for us and what this project is going to look like. I wish it was already accomplished, because we could use more space right now. But it’s not, that is not where God wants us.
How about you? What do you need to wait on the Lord for these days? Where does he want you to pause and pray for his preparation?
Wait for it.