Monday, July 6th
Are You Still in the Nest?
On May 12th, a small item made the news: a family of Canada geese had taken up residence on the roof of the Outdoor Centre on the University of Calgary’s campus. The young goslings were ready to leave the nest; “Mom and Dad” were down below, coaxing and encouraging their children to come and join them. But the drop seemed too much for the little ones.
Complicating the whole thing, was the danger of those small fledgling geese landing on hard pavement. So the staff and other well-wishers went to work and completely surrounded the building with soft pads and mattresses that would protect their fall to freedom.
Would they do it? Could they take that plunge? It was clear that the little birds were uneasy, frightened at the danger, and nervous about leaving the safety of the familiar nest on the roof. As people watched the drama unfold, the goslings finally dropped, one by one, and each landed safely, ready to take on the next challenge of life.
As Paul writes to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith, he urges Timothy to join him in suffering. It’s not going to be easy for Timothy as his mentor, friend, and spiritual father is ready to depart from this life; Paul is being poured out as a drink offering; the time of his departure is at hand, and, true to his passion and his calling, Paul is concerned about passing the baton of ministry to young Timothy. He knows that Timothy is ready so he writes this letter to encourage and urge Timothy to take the next step. Timothy has a role to play in guarding the treasure entrusted to him and in passing it on to other faithful men who will, in turn, pass it on (1:14; 2:2). Paul has poured into his life and now it’s time for Timothy to ‘leave the nest.’
Of course, as we think about why Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, we once again look at our own lives. As I think about this, I can’t help but think on the new role that I have here in Brantford, and I think about the purpose of Precept Ministries: we want to equip others to handle the Word of God, and to pass it on in discipling others, so that all of us grow together as we serve the church.
But it goes beyond the formal teaching and training of the ministry here. Each and every one of us needs to ask ourselves: Who are we bringing along in the faith? Who are we intentionally equipping to lead the next generation – to step out of the nest and ‘fly?’ Who can we look at and say, “Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be timid. It’s time to take the baton from my hand and fulfill your ministry.” What a great responsibility for each of us, and what great joy it brings as we develop discipling relationships. How do you see your role in the body of Christ as mentor and ‘baton-passer?’ How do you encourage your ‘goslings’ to leave the nest and fly?