I Am The Guardian Of A Vision

Some 20 years ago, I served as chairman of the board of trustees for our local church. Our main task was to oversee the health and repair of the physical property. With a building older than 100 years, that is a task.

There were some marvelous servants on the board. We all worked together with the skills God had given us, and I believe we were good stewards of the building and property–and the financial health of the church.

Writing in the Celtic Daily Prayer, an unknown author was talking about place (geographic, local) and especially about old places in England. He (she?) said, “When we say, ‘I’m in charge of these ruins,’ it must mean that we are guardians of a vision, not curators for the department of ancient monuments.”

There was a sense when I was attempting to lead the group that I felt part of a long line of people stretching back to the mid-1800s (a long time in western Ohio where settlement really didn’t begin in earnest until about the 1830s). They had a vision of being Jesus’ witnesses in the frontier.

In a way, we are still on the frontier wherever we go. Jesus remains a stumbling block to many. And my great sorrow is when Christ-followers themselves help throw up stumbling blocks instead of looking for ways to help people turn the stumbling block into a cornerstone for the foundation of their lives.

Let’s take the thought even further. When are we guardians of a vision laid out thousands of years before? When are we merely curators of an ancient monument out of which has been sucked all the life and spirit?

When we consider our spiritual formation, at what point do we look for what adds life? Or, should we consider at what point we began just curating an ancient monument and have lost the life?

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