Constructive Criticism

If you do not know the cost then you do not have a plan that will come to fruition. – Dr. Clark, Liberty University 2010

Its hard for me to digest the comment above. I don’t doubt the validity of it. And yet, it frustrates me to have a vision so simplified. To clarify, Dr. Clark was commenting on the fact that I have no idea how much money will be needed to make a Bible school a reality. I realize the dilemma this presents, which is why I can’t deny his assessment. Still…something about it sticks in my craw.

A cabin on Little Marco Island that I think would be a perfect start.

I guess much of my problem is an issue of starting. Oh I’ve taken a few steps towards bringing Emerald Haven to life (like this website for instance). I’ve researched properties that meet the vision of the school that God has given me (with flexibility in that search since that vision is more about setting than location). I’ve even put together an outline trying to map out the purpose behind the school (although the first draft is in need of revision). When it boils down to it though, there is little I can do in accurately assessing the “cost.”

I’ve never had a head for numbers, and I doubt God forgot that when He placed this fire inside me. Which leads me to a couple of thoughts:

1) God is going to miraculously give me a business mindset. Somewhere buried in the recesses of my brain is the knowledge needed to plan this thing out to the last detail, and God is getting ready to flip that DNA switch at any moment.

2) Someone else is needed for this project. While eventually a full staff will be needed, what I’m talking about is a right now need. Someone who doesn’t see numbers a fog blocking the way is being prepared to come alongside me and help get this mission started.

3) God doesn’t care so much about the numbers at present. He is simply waiting for me to remember who is in control.

If I were a betting man, I’d put money on number 3.

It reminds me of something from my youth. Our youth group held a car wash in order to raise money to go to Colorado. The previous year, we had gone to Ravencrest’s summer camp by the grace of God (since He had provided the funds through various donors) but in our eagerness we wanted to help out this time around. It rained the entire day, and several of our clients were members of our group. Ultimately, we made less than we spent I think. But rather than feel dejected, there was a relief to it. Our pastor asked us, “are you ready to let God do this? Or do we need another car wash?” Such a simple sentiment, but it lifted the burden from us (or at least from me, I can’t vouch for the other members of our group) and God provided us with all that we needed to take 40 beach kids to the Rockies. It’s a lesson I have often ignored, but never forgotten.

Really, this is where I think I’m at. Whether or not anything ever comes of this effort, it’s not about me and it’s was never meant to be. God will bring Himself glory when and where He chooses. If it’s through Emerald Haven, then praise His name. And if it’s not, then I’ll praise all the same.

Without a doubt, to God be the glory.

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