Dear Inner Circle,

Life has its own rhythm and learning that is more fundamental to well-being than fostering an attitude of success. Think about how we give ourselves over to sleep at the end of every day. How like death is sleep! If you could see yourself asleep, it would look just like death. In sleep your temperature is different than in death but your conscious self is not present. Is it not amazing that life comes looking for us each morning! Life beckons us to move. To enter life requires us to get up, move our feet to the coffee machine and into life. Our attitude is of no relevance in the matter. Isn’t it more than odd that few greet the stunning invitation into life with joy? We’re comfortable in this death-like state. What a conundrum that our waking moments aren’t always bursting with anticipation.

Wayside’s mission is for the sleeping. We understand that sleeping is needed for those who are tired. Our role is to invite people into life. We’re not much interested in what people think but rather we’re interested in getting people moving. Salvation comes through the feet not through the head. We know well that our invitation is rarely greeted with joy. Most often our early work is with people who are annoyed because we’ve invited them into life and community while they have constructed a dream world in which they are the hero, the only one in the right in a world of evil. In dream life we are all rock stars and professors because there is no real person present to contradict us. How unromantic to move into a world where there are others, who come complete with their own dramas and who can laugh at us as well as love us. Wayside’s mission is in the real. Love never grows in a state of sleep. It’s why none of our ‘success stories’ are a simple matter of flicking a switch to fix someone or make them new. All of our successes are stories of three steps forward, two steps back.
At the front door this morning I asked a young woman if she was ok. “I’m bored” she said. “I just want to have some fun”. I suggested a half dozen silly options. “Shall we rob a bank; shall we steal a car; shall we bash some baddies; shall we trade some drugs?” With each suggestion her face lifted toward me with an increasing bewilderment. “Are you nuts?” she asked. “I’m just out of jail and all those things would land me right back inside.” “You’re right” I said, “how about you join our art group or get involved in our garden?” Her first few words were uttered at fever-pitch, but after a moment I could see her visibly settle to consider what might be an enjoyable experience but without the familiar negative consequences. “OK” she said, “I’ll think about it.”

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,

Graham

Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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