Dream Boldly, Act Decisively

My last blog ended with my vision for a unified church and a peaceful world.  John Paul Lederach exhorts his readers to dream boldly.

During a sleepless hour last night I reached for my kindle fire and listened to part of the fable, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. The fable is the story of a young shepherd who dreamed of finding a treasure among the pyramids of Egypt. Because of this dream he sold his sheep and bought a ticket for a trip from Andalusia to Tangiers in Africa. There he met an old king named Melchizedek who taught him about omens and gave him two small stones from his breast plate. Then the shepherd began to look for a guide to show him the way to the pyramids, but a man whom he had begun to trust robbed him of everything he possessed.

Destitute, he lost his dream.  He attached himself to the owner of a crystal shop who shared his wealth with him.  The older owner and the younger employee talked about their experiences with dreams.

The older man had dreamed of a pilgrimage to Mecca.  He started his crystal shop to fulfill his dream, but now with the resources to actually go to Mecca, he preferred instead to merely “think” about Mecca. The younger dreamer was tempted, too, to give up his dream, go back to Andalusia, buy more sheep and return to the simple life of a shepherd.

During the night a significant change came to the younger man.  He decided to pursue his dream.  You should read the rest of the fable for your self. I will only say that he dreamed boldly and with the help of an alchemist who could turn lead into gold the shepherd found the way to the pyramids and eventually, his treasure.

My Joy and I are still reading John Paul Lederach’s book: Reconcile – Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians.  John Paul is an ordinary christian.  Might he be an alchemist for our day, able to turn conflict through reconciliation into peace?

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
This entry was posted in Biblical Interpretation, Church, Homosexuality, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dream Boldly, Act Decisively

  1. Sam Troyer says:

    Love it, love it, keep on dreaming and I do want to check out this book. I had driven to Indy for the Indiana Michigan Conference all day Friday, one of my billiard buddy’s Dean Slagel called Betsy and said “maybe I could go with Sam so he doesn’t have to drive to Indy by himself.” Dean and I sat through the morning sessions and since we didn’t have meal tickets for lunch we’d thought he just go out and grab a sandwich. When we got to the car we realized there were in sandwich’s in that part of Indy. We sat there dazed over the morning reports of the church’s that are leaving the conference over the gender issue. We were sorely tempted to head this Toyota north toward Goshen and not look back. Then I noticed the subject for the 1:00 session on forbearance. “I’d like to hear this I told Dean,” We headed back into the building and by that the lunch was more open and there was a meal ticket on the bulletin board. I told Dean “we’ll split lunch,” but he and I were both handed plates so we went through. The meal chatter didn’t sound like a funeral dirge. People were laughing like they were having a party. From there we were led into worship and heart felt sharing. We didn’t solve anything but the cloud seemed to life. I thought we maybe Evana will be a good thing, it will give churches a chance to continue in the Anabaptist family and when they discover that the roof will not fall in maybe some of them will come back.

    • Raymond Martin says:

      Evana will not escape this issue. New generations will differ with their parents and some will identify as gay. Their parents will review this issue. Evana and MC USA congregations will exist in close proximity. There will be intermarriage. Forbearance will happen. Jesus’ Jno. 17 prayer will still stand.

  2. Donald Blosser says:

    I was at the same meeting as Sam & Dean. And I confess (gladly) that the 2 days were far more cheerful, more positive, more hopeful than I had expected. Among other things, I was encouraged by the leadership given by younger (at least from my age perspective) persons in conference. Mandy Yoder (of Belmont, and from CMC) did a superb job of moderating a touchy session of reporting and listening from the Unity and Variance Discernment Task Group. My table group leader was a young woman from Benton..also very capable.
    I found a lot of hope in their report. They indicated only how they were “leaning” without declaring a final position. “our recommendation will be that, on some questions of LGBT inclusion, we allow individual congregations to decide what it means for them to be faithful to God’s call and vision in IN-MI Menno Conf.” I found that to be very encouraging — both in the process being used (showing how we are leaning, and asking for counsel), and in the recommendation being considered. I would hope that Kansas City might at least lean in a similar direction.
    With Sam, I also found a lot of opportunity for positive interaction with friends—and I also had a good exchange with a former student/brother who is at a signficantly different position than I am. We shared views, acknowledged we understand each other and allowed each other to be wrong, yet remain brothers together. That, in my view, is progress.

  3. Thank you, Sam and Don for reporting from conference. That young women are giving able leadership makes me weep. Thanks, too, Raymond for your insight. You will like knowing that Barry Loop’s daughter is my speech therapists.

    Also you should know that Jean Pfeiffer and Helen Gochnauer have both passed on in recent weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.