It's been a tremendous experience: meeting new people, experiencing different aspects of my faith in God: stuff that looks great on paper; but is a bit harrowing when you actually put it to the test.
For me, this year is much like the year after having a baby (and we've had some experience at that). We tell young parents-to-be, invest largely into one another before the baby is born, because you're going to be drawing largely from those deposits for the next year (lack of sleep, lack of time together, lack of discretionary income, and needing to consider the impacts of this new addition to your family with every single cotton-pickin' little decision you make). It wasn't until this moment that I equated buying a business with having a baby (though I've heard the analogy before). But, other than diaper changing, it's not all that different.
So now, starting a new year, what's different?
I really don't know.
Last Saturday, we visited a Messianic congregation in Salem. I've known the leader for years; but it was the first time I actually saw the congregation he leads in action. It was disappointing, not because they got a D- in presentation; but because, as the leader of a congregation (maybe former leader, I suppose) I know what it's like when someone comes in with the idea of changing everything- and we certainly see a lot of things differently.
So, this week, we're hanging out. Next week, I don't know.
I've had a number of people come into my shop and express interest in what we believe and how we worship. I had a lady who was once a part of our group stop in last week and ask for a teaching on a subject. I can't say what's coming.
But, I do know this: if it isn't from God, then it isn't worth doing. So, I don't need to worry about trying to manufacture something on my own.