Monday, October 08, 2018

The Eyes of Faith

In his book, The Eagle has Landed, Jeffery K. Smith writes:

“Robert Hutchings Goddard, born on October 5, 1882, is widely regarded as America’s first true rocket scientist.   A native of Massachusetts, Goddard was educated at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and later taught physics at Clark University.

“The New Englander’s passion for rocketry began during his childhood and eventually became his life’s work.  At the age of 27, Goddard published A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, which hypothesized that a rocket launched from Earth could reach the Moon.  Like many visionaries, the young rocketeer encountered numerous skeptics.  In January of 1920, the New York Times harshly criticized Goddard’s theory that rockets could be utilized for space exploration: ‘He seems only to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.’  Forty-nine years later, as Apollo 11 raced to the Moon, the famed newspaper published a retraction to its article criticizing Goddard.” 

Goddard was not only an “early adapter,” he was an innovator wo understood that a very simple idea might have far reaching implications.  Innovators like Goddard are often far ahead of anyone else.  The see answers for needs that may not have been clearly articulated yet.  They see things that others miss. 

In a recent webinar, my Pinnacle colleague David Brown talked about “holy experiments,” small innovations that my blossom into vibrant ministries.  The interesting thing about holy experiments is that they often emerge on the periphery of what we are doing now.

Like something that appears in our peripheral vision but is not there when we turn our head, opportunities for holy experiments are often seen only with the eyes of faith.  We know that there is something there, but we just can’t quite put our finger on it, then suddenly all is clear, and we see what must be done.

I tend to think that this is how the Kingdom of God emerges.  Jesus said, “For, in fact, the kingdom of God is [already] among you.”  (Luke 17:21, NRSV) The opportunity is there but it will only be seen when the Spirit reveals its presence to those with the eyes of faith.

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