Daniel Grothe recently penned The Power of Place: Choosing Stability in a Restless Age (Thomas Nelson, 2021). Currently, the author serves as associate pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. First, Pastor Grothe underscores, sometimes the most significant thing you can do is stay in a place for the long haul. To give your life for the good of the people in that place. Because many times moving on only exacerbates the problem. Instead, you need to do the hard work required for personal growth. And in the process, you find the freedom to quit running and stay. Therefore, when you take the vow of stability, you commit to stay with the very people and place God intends to use to make you holy.
In addition, the vow of stability serves to protect you from tumbling over into a life of untethered rootlessness. Ultimately, Pastor Grothe observes, you choose to view those walls in one of two ways. As walls of withholding or walls of wonder. Most significantly, the gift of place = the first gift God gave humankind. In The Power of Place, Daniel contends that God’s intention remains the same today. Thus, God wants us to find home and experience belonging. Also, God calls us to love in particular the little word we all live in. Hence, there’s no such place as nowhere. Since God’s omnipresent, every place is a somewhere. As a result, when love gets small, it makes a difference. When you lovingly work your fingers down into the soil of your place, that place begins to sprout vines. Vines that climb up into your heart.
Consequently, as you honor your relationships, you grow in holiness. Rather than bolt from an offense. Thus, the faithful serve as fixtures. Otherwise, they carry the offense with them wherever they go. To be like Jesus, we must run into, not away from, the small and insignificant places. Because every place you are is sacred. Therefore, Pastor Grothe exhorts, pay attention to the invisible mysteries and look for the hidden beauty. As Frederick Buechner once said: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
In conclusion, the author stresses, the church functions as the crucible to make us disciples. If we let it. For when you commit to and persevere through the inconveniences, you gain the greatest treasures. You find true riches when you do the hard work of staying – when it’s easier to run. To experience the power of place, consecrate the ground under your feet. It’s holy ground. Make a big difference through giving yourself over to the concerns and constraints of your small place.