It seems we are struggling to find that norm in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives.

It’s so easy to want things to be “like they used to be” instead of looking at situations and trying to figure out how we can find the absolute best in them.

I fall victim to that, longing for what “was” instead of thinking through the positives of what is and what can be. I’m certain of one thing . . . no one can predict what the/our future will be with any certainty. But what we can do is look at where we are now and figure out how to embrace it fully.

Tom’s triathlon is just a few days away so our lives are pretty concentrated on nutrition, making sure the parts and pieces are in order and trying to mitigate stress so that somehow he can conquer 70.3 miles in several hours. A few nights ago I had the craziest dream . . . I guess it was because the triathlon is frequently on my mind, but I dreamed that ALL of West did an Ironman.

Yes . . . YOU were in a triathlon. We started the run portion at Ghostface and each of you filed by me, ready for your 13-mile run. I’m not kidding when I say that pretty much all your faces/bodies flashed by my brain. Each of you was jogging by me at the start of the run portion of the race.

***( And yes, I mean do mean “all” of you . . . if you are reading this, there is a huge likelihood I saw you flash by my eyes in my dream. I do spend time at least 2x a month studying the “West list” . . . praying for you, thinking about whom I haven’t seen either on the online chat or in-person or whom no one on staff has had contact with.)

My role in the dream was to stand by the start and cheer you on . . . you were all so happy to be jogging by. But something happened . . . the more of you that I saw, I realized that I couldn’t simply just stand there. It violated every leadership and Jesus principle I have! Any decent leader never asks or expects folks to do that which she/he will not do.

As the last group of you approached I looked at the race coordinator and said, “You’ve got to man my station. I’m going in!”

I walked into the triathlon thinking, “Well, I’ve never trained for this at all and barring my swim team experience 42 years ago, I have NO experience with distance swimming. Not to mention where am I going to get a bike? And I’ll just have to walk the rest of the race because I do not run. Regardless of these details, I am going in!!!!!”

I’ve pondered that dream for a while. . . the only meaning I can derive from it is that we are all in this post-pandemic Delta variant surge together. We are in a new normal of the church, defining what worship and church really are. And the one thing that has defined West from the beginning is that we are about a whole lot more than just one hour on Sunday morning. We are a community of people seeking to BE Love in this world, trying to change the world to be a better place, even if it is a small amount at a time.

If we will focus on that, then the anxiety about our next steps can subside.

We have some really powerful opportunities coming up for you to be the church in our world, not just on Sunday morning. Let’s be mindful to all “run the race” and jump into one of those opportunities!

Grace and Peace,