Home > Uncategorized > Little House and Walking Lightly…Rooted Mobility (Part 3)

Little House and Walking Lightly…Rooted Mobility (Part 3)

The Northwest is home to trailblazers. Sure, our professional basketball team carries it as their moniker, and Portland is known throughout the country for pushing the limits, for finding new ways to live, for being a bit “different.”

It is also the end of the Oregon Trail. One of the most entertaining ways to learn about the plight of those who set out to blaze trails into the west is in the infamous book The Little House on the Prairie.

There is on part of this story in which the Ingalls family builds a home right in the middle of a trading trail used by local Native American tribes.

As the Ingalls establish a homestead, they recognize the trail trod deeply into the ground, but really pay little attention to it otherwise. In fact, their general feeling towards the Native Americans is fear. What they are most concerned about is establishing something new, namely their farm, even though there are people living in their midst who have a deep history with the land.

Trail blazers, like the Ingalls, head out into the world with a vision for something new, something great – and often neglect that which is in their very presence.

Trail blazing is, in general, a good thing. We need people who look for that which is new, who are constantly seeking to make sense of the world, who are able to break out of or stay unhindered by institutional boundaries so often found in human systems.

But in doing so, they often tread over and displace that which is old because, well, it is old! It can’t possible speak to the world today.

The church needs people who are blazing trails, who are looking out into the world and seeking to make Jesus Christ relevant to as many people as possible.

But unless it is done in ways that acknowledge the paths that have come before, that been worn deep into the earth by people who were, at the time, doing the same type of thing these new trail blazers are hoping to do anew.

This is a difficult calling, but an essential one. The church needs to be defined by a rooted mobility – a rooted mobility which is made known to the world by those who hold loosely, walk lightly, and love boldly.

Let’s be people who walk lightly. Let’s encourage people, who as the blaze trails, do so lightly knowing the ground they are treading has been trod before – and from it fruits at one point grew, and perhaps still grow – if we are able to look with careful eyes.



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