I went rummaging through boxes in the garage last night (still not fully unpacked) to find a lost wireless router. Still lost. To my surprise I discovered a box of folders and papers that somehow escaped the purge when we moved. In the box was a treasure. Let me back up.
Spring 2011 and I am writing and re-writing notes that would essentially become the blueprint (outside the Bible itself) for the church plant I'm now eyeball deep in. When Blair and I began praying over this dream/ burden/ calling/ leap of faith we weren't sure where we should plant. I was certain the kind of church the Lord had equipped me and called me to plant but I didn't know where yet. Our first inclination was Houston since that is my hometown. I love the city and have a heart for it so it seemed to make sense. Particularly we were drawn to the communities inside the 610 Loop. Those neighborhoods have history, charm, diversity, and story (not unlike Old Town Beaumont where the Lord ultimately directed our hearts).
There in that beat-up cardboard box (beat up because I was so tired of moving I wasn't very gentle with those boxes!) was the compilation of my original notes, typed up in the first draft of my church planting prospectus, with a mini-map of those urban-chic neighborhoods and a red circle looping the Heights and Timbergrove communities. That was where our prayers first circled.
Funny how God direct us and often moves the focus of our prayers. Those original notes and that original target area reflect to me the first step of faith and an attempt to be obedient. Along the way God directed my feet, my thoughts, my heart, my vision, and finally my family to the specifics of this calling. It is easy to get "paralysis by analysis" and never do anything because you are waiting for some sign in the sky.
Be faithful with what you know and what you have. As you seek the Lord in prayer and through His Word the Spirit will direct you (affirmed by godly counsel around you) to the specifics but be take that first step of faith and obedience. You may start off 90 miles away in Houston and end up right down the road on Calder Avenue.