The Continental Divide is where the enormous blue sky collides into ambitious white-capped peaks high in the Rocky Mountains. The view up above Estes Park, CO where my family visits often is as intimidating as it is inspiring. It is, of course, the literal watershed structure of our continent and the Western Hemisphere. There is a line all the way from Alaska down through the Andes of South America where a large drop of water could simultaneously land on either side of the Divide. But eventually gravity, wind and weather will cause the water drop to go down toward either the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean.
And there are great watershed lines in our lives as well. Sometimes they are big enough that we find ourselves straddling divides, looking down one and then the other for a few years. Crossing one of these watershed features is never easy. The oxygen is thin: the incline is steep and rocky. Meanwhile, the expanse constantly hovers over us making us feel small and weak. But eventually a sharp intake of clarity and an expansive view compel us to choose a destination.
Does this all sound overly dramatic? Probably. It’s no less true! The Foster family is getting ready to make a crossing. After a few years of walking along the divide we have chosen to head back East to Kansas City to plant a new church. It’s been a crazy, great, dangerous, un-smooth ride in AZ. We have loved our 16 years in the valley of the Sun. I mean that. We have experienced many things… two new churches where literally hundreds of people committed their lives to following Jesus and where we met hundreds of others, many of which we call close friends. It’s the place where we’ve watched our kids grow, go to school, play ball, go on vacations and make spectacular memories. It’s also been the place where we’ve walked through deaths, fires, disease, job-loss… both personally and with many others. It has shaped us and marked us. I celebrate all of it. So, as we take the last few steps over the divide and first few heading east I simply want to say thank you to everyone we’ve had the opportunity to hike alongside of on this trail.
Beyond that the metaphor begins to break down. Unlike the water heading to the Atlantic that will never have opportunity to connect with waters heading toward the Pacific, we (you and us) can re-connect… and we hope we do! Through prayers, the internet and the open invite you have to physically visit us in KC we want and actually need to stay in touch with you. It's not like we're done with one trail and now we're moving on to a completely different trail. It doesn’t work that way. East or West, North or South... it’s all one big hike! And we’re all in it together. So, please continue to pray, check back on the blog, vimeo, twitter and of course, as soon as details about the new church become clearer we’ll share them with you. Blessings on you and may you have courage to cross your divide!
Romans 8:23-28(The Message) - All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.