Even if you don't know what is coming next, just putting yourself out there gives you a shot at being there when something happens. And you never know when something is going to happen.
Church buildings are great places to gather people in hopes that something happens, but I'm learning that life really happens when you're least expecting it to. There is something about a bunch of people rising to an occasion that actually prevents the occasion from occurring. Granted there are times when you get lucky and something special happens smack dab in the middle of something planned and programmed, but rarely. The good stuff happens out there in the unpremeditated and unpredictable crapshoot of the commonplace.
It's hugging the waiters and waitresses in a restaurant you've gone to for 7 years as the grieve the death of their beloved boss.
It's running into friends on the sidewalk and making small talk.
It's attending a community collaborative meeting and listening to leaders in the community share the passions and dreams for Lowell.
It's going out to lunch with a young leader and normalizing struggle and the temptation to disown desire.
It's sitting in the coffee shop with artists and calling them up into leadership.
It's crashing into hard conversations with people that no one else is going to have with them.
It's going to counseling with your wife and letting someone else in on your pillow talk.
It's staying up late with advisors and wrestling through hard decisions with candor and valor.
It's waking up early to meet with your "trusted brothers" and talking about life as it is, not as you wish it was.
It's snuggling on the couch with your youngest daughter and kissing her soft forehead as you watch "Nanny McFee".
It's tasting defeat and victory. It's getting scathing and soothing emails. Caustic voicemails and caring voicemails. It's grinding through necessary evils and relishing moments of irreplaceable joy.
I'm finding that being "out there" is where God laughs and plays. You don't always know what you're getting yourself into...but that's the point.