“My jump down stairs?”
“My jump down stairs?” Mr. H, our precocious two-year-old, again asked as he looked at me from the landing.
“No, not by yourself. You will get very hurt.” He decided to go back upstairs and get Moo and a bottle of water, and completely forgot about jumping down.1
We are in a phase where we have been encouraging Mr. H that he can do things for himself. One day he’ll go off to school and hear in all likelihood that “he can do anything he sets his mind to.” In many facets of life, hard work can indeed make possible those things which formerly seemed impossible. But the popular wisdom (and its Christian counterpart), require qualifiers. Just deciding we want something to be possible and then doing it won’t make it immediately so. One day Mr. H could probably make that jump without serous injury, but he can’t do it today. I would not have been a good father encouraging him to make that leap. Later on, we went to the playground and he climbed the steps and slid down the slide all by himself at my urging. That was something I knew he was capable of, although he wasn’t sure at first. It was also something that was not without some risk of injury, but at a scale much smaller than turning our townhouse landing into a jungle gym.
Today, I feel a little bit like I’m Micah about to jump down those stairs. Last weekend I announced that I was stepping down as the pastor of Christ Our Lord Church barely two years after uprooting my family and coming here. Elise and I are taking steps to gather a new church plant together on the First Coast of Florida. The work at Christ Our Lord has been hard, but rewarding, and we could not have asked for a better community to spend two years with. We are heartbroken to be leaving so many good friends, who have loved and whom we have loved.
God, we believe, has asked us to jump this time; four years ago when we first considered planting, either God knew we weren’t ready or we didn’t believe our Father that we could do it. And so we are leaping into the unknown. The “settled” church—and I do not mean that in a disparaging way one bit—is basically all both of us have ever known. Those congregations that have shaped us have been varied in style and doctrine, but none were plants while we were with them.
For a lot of reasons, I’m intending to write here often (at least weekly) about what we’re doing. I hope it’s something edifying (if not enjoyable) for others to share in.
Well, until we got back from the playground and were on our way upstairs to get cleaned up. Then he begged me to let him jump up the stairs. He did not seem concerned that “jumping” is, for him, basically rocking forward and back on his feet and then falling down.↩