October 24 – “We Are the Resource!”
A typical happening today: Some agency comes to a church or business and says, “What resources do you need to make it through this difficult time?” Then the people respond by telling them what they need. Now please don’t get me wrong, I am all in favor of having professional groups who are trained in specific areas coming in and offering help. I have appreciated the Synod offering help to pastors and churches in many different areas and making resources available to help us navigate these choppy waters. But I also don’t want our church to start thinking the way to move forward is by plugging into outside resources and personnel.
I’m sure all of you have watched the movie, “The Wizard of Oz” Caught up in the vortex of a Kansas cyclone, a girl named Dorothy is blown away to the Land of Oz. She is told the only one who can help her to return to her home, is the great Wizard of Oz himself. So, she sets off for the Emerald City to meet him.
On her way, she is joined by three remarkable creatures, each of whom has his own favor to ask of the wizard. The first is a Scarecrow, who wants a brain more than anything else. The second is the Tin Woodman, who years for a heart. The third is a Cowardly Lion, who is searching, for courage.
I won’t take the time to describe to you all the things that happen to this group on their journey to the Emerald City, except to say that they have to go through some pretty hair-raising experiences (the flying monkey’s still creep me out!). But they do survive the ordeal, in a rather unexpected way.
You may never have noticed this before, but next time you watch the movie, notice this: whenever this group is confronted with some sort of physical danger, it is always the Cowardly Lion who manages to lead the fight to get them through it. Whenever the obstacle is of a more cerebral nature, it is always the brainless Scarecrow who figures out a way to get through. And, as for the Tin Woodman, who is journeying in search of a heart, he lends a hand whenever he can and his empathy for people is so great that they often find themselves rallying around him. The climax of the tale occurs when upon reaching the Emerald City, they make the shattering discovery that the great wizard is not really great at all, and not really even a wizard! Instead, he is a rather helpless little man who himself admits that he is really nothing more than a fraud and can’t possibly grant any of their requests.
The story ends with the realization that they really don’t need the wizard. The journey showed them that they already have what they were longing for.
I am always looking at resources available to us, and have used some of their suggestions about how best to function as a church living through a pandemic. But I have come to the conclusion that the best resources available to us – is us! When something needs to get done – someone does it. When a new way of thinking is necessary, someone on our council or within the church comes up with the answer. And nobody knows the needs of our church or community better than us.
Of all the resources being made available to us, the best resource for us, is us.
~ God bless, Dan