For those of you who might not know, the title of this post is also the title of a very funny Monty Python movie… that is if you “get” Monty Python humor. I was going to post the trailer for the movie off of YouTube, but ruled against it 🙂
A little while back, I was headed to the district office for the Central District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada (wow, that’s a mouthful!). I had my handy GPS because I have a reputation for taking the scenic route. So, if you ever travel with me then you better have an adventurous spirit and be willing to leave early to get anywhere. Anyway, I had put in the address of the district office. When I got to the road I was supposed to turn on, there was MAJOR construction. I tried following the signs for the detour but ended up in the middle of what seemed like a secret base or something… maybe the Canadian version of Area 51… Needless to say, I got out of there quickly, called the district office and found my way to the office for my meeting.
Life seems to do that to me a lot… OK, GOD seems to do that to me a lot. I am happily going down my path, a path that I know God has me on, and all of a sudden there is a HUGE detour sign. The only thing is that the detour does not lead back to the path I was on… I end up someplace completely different! And that’s what has happened in the lives of the Zonios recently.
Let me go back a year… (cue the flashback sequence music) I was in southern California having attended the Idea Camp. I was on my way to the Pasadena gathering of Mosaic when all of a sudden I had the thought, “I could live in California again.” Immediately, my sub conscience retorted, “Uh, NO I CAN’T!” You see, I grew up in northern CA. When I got married and moved away, both my wife and I said that we really never wanted to live in CA again. That’s just how we felt. Well, ten years later and now I had this random thought that came out of nowhere… OK, maybe it wasn’t nowhere, but I wasn’t all too happy about having the thought.
When I got back to my hotel, I called Erin and told here about the thought. She said something like this, “Um, yeah…” Now, when your wife starts a sentence like that when you’ve told her about a crazy idea you’ve had, then you should immediately stop the conversation and return to your happy life! Well, that’s not what I did… I listened. “Um, yeah… I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. I’ve been having the same thoughts.” GREAT!
Well, it’s been a year of praying, listening, seeking out wisdom and looking for what God might be up to. This past Sunday, we announced to the congregation that we will be finishing up our time at Redwood and moving to Northern California as the end of June. (Don’t worry, I told my senior pastor two weeks previous.)
The obvious question, at least if it was me hearing this news, is, “So, what will you be doing?” In short, we’re still figuring that out. And the answer to your next question: “Yes, we are crazy.”
OK, there IS more to it than that. As we’ve been seeking out God in all of this, one of the things that has come up is my desire to go back to school. The plan is to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology with an emphasis on children, families and religion. With my growing passion in looking at the mutual interaction between culture and children’s ministry, I’ve found that I really need to dive head first into it. Ultimately, it’s my desire to teach at the university level, do research concerning children and families as related to the religious landscape here in North America as well as in other areas of the world. I would also like to enter more into the different conversations happening about what a missional or third way of doing church and christianity looks like.
Now, this move is more than just about me. God has speaking to my wife and children as well about what this move means for them and the story he is writing for our entire family.
In the meantime, we have MANY unknowns. We are definitely taking huge step of faith in doing this. We have to find a place to live (we’re sensing a call to live in the San Francisco East Bay Area), jobs (for both Erin and I not on a pastoral staff), acceptance into school… and that’s just the beginning! We are sad to leave here, excited about what God has for us, and scared out of our minds about the details. It’s an interesting mix of emotions. Please pray for us in the next few months as now we can begin working through the logistics of moving back into the US from Canada and to an area where we have to start from scratch.
I look forward to seeing what God is going to do. I know that it’s going to be a challenging path, but it’s definitely going to be an adventure!
As for this blog, this move really doesn’t change anything. I’ll still be connected into the CM world just from a different vantage point. And I think CM needs people seeing things from as many vantage points as possible.