Readdressing the Concept
When I named this blog "tentpegs" I explained, in the first column, that the word refers to our tendency to put down roots, make ourselves comfortable, and not continue our journey from here to heaven. In my own life I can often hear the tentpegs give as one more part of who I am and what I do moves on; my tent folds up and the journey continues.
As our congregation moves from being a one-location-many-services church to being a multi-site, missional, many-services church I can hear a lot of tentpegs popping out of the ground. Such is as it should be. God never wanted us to be comfortable and "at home in the world." We settle for far too little. We settle down far too quickly.
Thanks for your kind words about Duncan. He took the ASVAB test (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) on Monday and scored 82. Average is less than 55 and it takes 74 to qualify for application to NROTC so he is a very happy man. He gets up at 6AM each day and goes running before coming home to take a quick shower and head for school. His work ethic and dedication humble me. [thanks to all who recommended Frank Shaeffer's books "Keeping Faith" and "Faith of Our Sons." We got them, read them, and are buying other copies to send to everyone who knows us and wonders what got into Duncan and how we are handling it]
We signed the papers on Monday. Kami and I sat at a small desk in a tiny room and signed the papers that allow Duncan to make his own contract with the Marines and enter whenever he wants to. He is 17. We heard the tentpegs pop out of the ground. Life is changing, never to be the same again.
I feel somewhat like I felt when I left Kara at Lipscomb six years ago. Her mother and I cried for the first hour on the drive home, unable to speak. We did the same thing when we put our son, then aged 9, on a flight to Guyana to help his grandfather in medical missons deep in the interior... and with Hurricane Mitch on its way. It was similar to the feeling I got when I walked over to my daughter -- who stood there nervously, radiant in her wedding gown -- offered her my arm and said, "It's time. We will do this well. Let's go," and nodded to the people ahead of us to open the door and let us march down the aisle.
Tentpegs popped out of the ground.
Tentpegs are our security blankets. They are our chains. They lock us into a place of comfort and security, allowing us to build palaces for ourselves while God lives in a tent, a shack, under a bridge.
What if the children of Israel thought about things for awhile and decided they didn't want to go to the Promised Land, but stayed around Mount Sinai instead? Forget about what God might have done to them: think about how tragic their loss would have been and how they would never have known it.
We were built to move. We weren't built to make our homes on this planet. As we move towards God He builds change into our lives: seasons change, jobs begin and end, and children grow up and put on a wedding dress or camoflauge.
And the tentpegs pop. Let each pop remind us that we are not at home yet. May the old songs remind us that we are pilgrims and strangers, just travelin' through this wearisome land. But we have a home in that yonder city that is not made with hands!