Friends - A tribute to friends long past.

Reasons - Why I should go, Why I should stay

What not to do. More pondering's on the missions movement.

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justin (@) deepdrift dot com


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"Being here, in this industry, in this place, is like being in love with someone you know is going to cheat on you. You know the risk, but you just can't help it. I wish, that I could love it less."

Family, Community, Education, Career, or Love

Someone asked me what I value about living here in Boston. I couldn't answer.

Why do I stick around here when I see everyone leave. Why do I want to leave so urgently. Is it a "me too" attitude?

I do feel called to live in Boston, no doubt about that. Yet for some reason I feel called to go to China. I can't even say why.

Part of me knows that to leave would be disloyal to everything I've said I believe in for the past six years. That there is a value in holding up community as an ideal unto itself. Something that should be considered alongside of family, education, or career. But it seems like so many of my friends disregard it.

Even knowing the risks that many people wouldn't do, knowing full well that the chances that things would turn out badly were great. I would still chose to do it.

Two friends, walking through Harvard, neither of which live in Boston anymore.. Fitting I suppose

I went to another church for the first time since they started one English Service. They're completely different from my home church, but somehow the same. They don't share the vision for multi ethnicity, they're ethnic specific, as opposed to having a congregation of mostly students and young twenty something adults, they have an age diverse congregation. While we seem like a young congregation, they seem to have reached a level of maturity. Yet through it, there were similarities. I enjoyed the prayer walk hearing what's going on in Chinatown. More importantly they seemed very connected to the community, while still being separate enough to mourn for it.

I grew up in Los Angeles, a city without a memory, without any history. A city built upon dreams, magic and fantasy. And now for the first time I'm in a place where I believe I should build something real. But alas, I cannot. I'm torn between my own loyalty and the inevitable called to somewhere else, someplace where I can't even imagine.

And then there was one...

I now consider myself an ancient one. One who remembers how it was in the time before.

Originally when I moved here there were seven people who started the church. Now they've all left, and only one remains. He is the original shepherd to that small flock, who inspired them with the original vision. And I don't blame any one of them in particular for leaving, because it's the character of people who we attracted. Because they've all gone off to their different places. These were the people who prayed about what they would build. The people who bought into the vision of a church community, far before the first service ever opened it's doors.

I sometimes wonder if even the oldest founder, is he relevant anymore. Could he be hindering us?

He's still here but the whole community has changed around him. Our community always seems to be in transition. I sometimes wonder if, as he has grown older, but the population of our community has stayed the same age, somehow in that transition he has lost touch with the flock he came to lead.

He used to use relevant cultural references as he spoke to us. There was a connectedness and sincerity in the words he spoke. I believed he really understood and cared about the issues which we were personally facing. Yet now he seems more distant than ever, even physically he is closer than he's ever been.

He's not longer in touch with the community, the majority of his thoughts now concern his family and child rearing. Something which a community of young, highly educated transient adults, has yet to face. We don't relate to the nuances of parenting a two year old. I fear he is becoming more irrelevant.

The travels

This is the tally of those who were part of it in the early days,

Nancy, got married, and then left, only to eventually end up as a missionary in Mongolia
Dan, left to start another church elsewhere, the church never got off the ground, now he appears to be leaving the country.
Alice, went to med-school in Texas. She's somewhere
James, left to follow his wife to California.
Gina, not being James's wife, went on to pursue a career in business.
Allen was the last to leave, eventually leaving for love, for work, and for family.

We can still count those from the early days, and add on to those the people who have lasted over the years. Some have come and left, others their commitments have wavered in and out.

Now few people even remember Allen, he's proof that although people leave, and they may come back. Ultimately through them leaving there is a restlessness contaminating them. Thus they may never be satisfied, always moving always transient. Allen, both the poster child non-commitment, and the instigator of the exodus.

Worcester Telegram, Dec 4,2003Is it okay to leave?

For school, for a job, for family, for money, for love?

On the right is an article from the Worcester Telegram, stating that the high cost of living, and generally the oppressive business climate make it difficult for people to stay here in Massachusetts, since Cambridge is probably one of the more expensive places in Mass to live, and the prices for stuff seem to deeply reflect that.

Individually I can't blame any one person for leaving. All their reasons are valid. Individually it wouldn't be a problem, we can deal with the small things. Our church can go on without one or two people. But it's the corporate mentality, and the effects that result from a culture where nobody expects anyone else to stick around. It's not surprising that we seem to be running around looking for loyalty. One of my big complaints is about consitency, who's really going to be there for the long term, and otherwise who's going to be there

What does it really mean to have a calling from God to go somewhere, do you really have roots anywhere, or are you stuck in between? Neither here nor there.

They say to leave is to keep running, running in fear that people will really find out who you're really like. There's a reason gypsies are despised, because they're nomadic, and because one of the fundamental perceptions, is that as soon as you get to know them, they're more than likely to move on.

Would you go if it were a calling from God? A call to be a missionary?

updated 7/31/2003