my dad suggested that i reflect on the pioneers with respect to my recent move to new york. it's a fruitful exercise, really, and a spirit lifter when things seem only dusty and dry. why should i expect anything else at this point? i've come to a new place where no close family member has tilled the land previous to my arrival. that ground is hard. it will take time to soften the soil and begin to plant seeds that might bring a harvest. and even then, harvest won't happen before spring.
pioneers are lonely people in the sense that they go ahead of others to establish something. my community here is small but growing. it's a difficult thing to know who will want to partner with me in the building of this homestead. some have their own pioneering projects going on. i respect that and wouldn't want to interfere. but i'm hopeful for friends who will join me in the journey. in them i'll enjoy strength, fellowship, challenge, accountability, and growth.
there is another who was called a pioneer. hebrews 12:2 refers to jesus this way as the “pioneer and perfector of our faith.” he certainly went into the previously undisturbed land of justice to secure my eternal life and satisfy the righteous requirements of god. he was alone with no one to share in his struggles. even his friends fell asleep when he needed them most. i can't say that i have experienced anything near the intensity of his pioneering...just the dull ache of aloneness in this foreign land.
but not foreign for long. that same pioneer who led me to this place is the perfector, as well. even as i write this, there is a growing familiarity with the streets and avenues, the subway and the difference between local and express, and the beginning of friendships. what will be built with them is as yet unknown, but the perfector will grow me in this place and provide building partners.
this seems too serious since i have another side, as well. on the lighter side of pioneering in this place, i have learned where to hunt. everywhere! there are markets, street vendors, and restaurants everywhere i look. there has been no shortage of doritos, cheese, ice cream, meat, and other staple delicacies in my life. there's even a 7-11 with those little cheeseburger dealies that are mashed into a cylindrical shape and kept warm on the steel rollers of magic heat along with hotdogs and sausages. amazing creation. i'm well taken care of here.
i'll keep pioneering. the ground will soften. community will come. maybe even a job...but we wouldn't want to rush anything.