This week, I walked past a green anole. Anoles, as you know, are common to this part of the country. Their thin bodies allow them to squeeze into tight spaces and easily hide when threatened. After spotting it, I turned around, walked closer, and watched it from up close. Apparently, I was too close. The anole did not know my intentions and immediately froze. I backed away and watched from a distance.
Sensing that I was still near, the anole moved ever so slightly. It did not want to be detected, captured, and eaten. I don’t blame it. In time, the small reptile became more accustomed to my presence. It hid behind a leaf and jumped out to eat a bug. It raced in front of me in an attempt to secure another meal. It staked out a spot closer to me, rather than farther away. It seemed to understand that reptiles are not on my menu.
We all feel threatened sometimes. How do we respond? Do we engage in an act of fight or flight? Do we freeze in place? How do we and others around us know that we are feeling less encumbered? Do our tentative steps turn into increasingly bolder actions?
I now invite you to consider these same questions from a church perspective. What does a congregation look like that is afraid? And what does a congregation look like that is feeling confident and assured? How can we manage and overcome our anxieties in order to move forward with greater confidence and hope in the Lord? I encourage you to mark your calendars for November 12 following worship when we will participate in a visioning town hall meeting. Let’s talk about our future together and move forward in faith with assurance and conviction.
Peace and best wishes,