Earlier tonight I watched UP for the first time. WARNING SPOILER ALERT. During the movie the main character (the old man) meets his wife when they are children. She shows him her most prized belonging her “Adventure Book.” She shows him everything that is in it. The last page she has written on says, “Thing I’m Going To Do.” The following pages are blank. She says she will fill them up when she gets to Paradise Falls with all the things she is going to do. Well the couple grows old together, and never gets to Paradise Falls. The wife dies leaving the husband alone. Well the husband decides that he is going to take their house (with balloons tied to it so it will fly) and go to Paradise Falls. The story progresses with lots of twist and turns, but ultimately he gets their house to Paradise Falls. As he sits in his chair, he finds the “My Adventure Book” and goes through it one more time. When he gets to the things to do page, he goes to close the book and notices that there is something else – something he has never seen before. It’s their wedding picture. The following pages were all the pictures of their life together. At the very end there was a note that read, “Thanks for all the adventures . . . now go find a new one.”
Thanks for all the adventures . . . now go find a new one.
The Church is at a critical point. We are holding on to our old adventure with dear life, we don’t want to let go of it. It’s that last piece that connects us with that lost loved one. But as the above quote goes, “go find a new one.” We have been on an amazing journey thus far as a Church. But, now it’s time to figure out what the next adventure is. I don’t know what the next adventure for the Church is, I don’t know if anyone does. What I do know is that we must as a Church continue to discern what’s next. Maybe something we’ve tried before that didn’t work might work now. Maybe there’s a really old model of doing Church that would be best. Maybe it’s something we haven’t even thought of yet. Whatever it is, it is out there.
There is one thing I can say for certain (I think). Whatever adventure is next for the Churc
h, the change won’t be easy. That’s where I think today’s Gospel says a lot to us. The boat is about to sink. It looks like all is lost. But, in a way we can’t see Jesus comes and calms the waters. Without us knowing, Jesus redeems us and brings calmness out of the chaos. We must be confident that whatever storms come as we seek out next adventure, God will be there to guide and protect us.
We’ve got to find a new adventure. It’s not going to be easy. But if we trust in God and follow his call, we will grow and change into who and what God is calling us to be. When things get tough remember, as one newly released movie says, “Everything will be all right in the end, and if it’s not all right, it’s not the end.“