Wild Goose wasn’t the only reason I quit my job. Stepping out of my law practice and into whatever awaits me in the next season of my life is something that Cherie and I have been thinking about and anticipating for years.
But there was always a good reason to wait, to delay, to postpone. There was always some sensible, practical reason to keep at it a little longer.
But after getting dunked in the Kingdom of God at the Wild Goose Festival, we were convinced to make the move and to make it now. So the following Monday I announced my resignation.
So I thank Linda Alvarez for the compelling beauty of her description of her gentle law practice, rooted in non-violence. I thank Mike Myhrom for reminding me that a life is more valuable than stuff. I thank John Dear and Shane Claiborne for the urgency of their messages of opposition to empire, and for the inspiration of their lives. I thank Ed Dobson for his poignant reminder of our mortality. I thank Christine Sine for reminding me of the immense spiritual importance of gardening. I thank Jay Bakker for reminding me of how easy it is to overlook injustice, even when it is right before us. I thank Nadia Bolz-Weber for smashing an idol. I thank Frank Schaeffer and Tony Jones for reminding me that there are no questions I should be afraid to ask. I thank Lynne Hybels for her passionate call for awareness of injustice in Palestine, and for a photo of “Love Wins” painted on a wall built in the belief that it doesn’t. I thank Abdullah Antepli for his kindness and his example. I thank Tony Campolo for red letter christianity–and for making me laugh. I thank Richard Twiss for helping me (unwittingly, I’m sure) to see post-colonialism in my own backyard. I thank Jim Wallis for hugging my wife after learning that he helped save her faith. I thank Diana Butler-Bass for helping me understand what meaningful change should look like. I thank Brian McLaren for his inspiration, for showing himself to be genuine and sincere, and for once again teaching me to re-frame. I thank Sean and Rebecca Gladding for showing me how much I still have to learn from Scripture. I thank the brilliant Phyllis Tickle for sparking my imagination, and for making me wonder what my life will look like when I’m 78 years old. I thank Terry Alexander, our new friend from the tent next door, for his company and for reminding us that we are not alone. I thank Matt and Ben, our friends from Grace and Main, for living proof that the Spirit is moving in our hometown. I thank Brooke and her friends for inviting us to share communion with them and for reminding us of the importance of community. I thank Michelle Shocked, the Psalters, Beth Neilsen Chapman, Jennifer Knapp and Derek Webb for being the soundtrack to one of the most profound weekends of my life.
But most of all I thank the entire Wild Goose community, and all those who made it possible, for inspiring us and giving us a vision of optimism, joy and hope. Something good is happening, and we want to be a part of it.
My prayer is that Wild Goose will be our Azuza Street, that it will ignite a movement, drawing to it those fleeing from legalistic, judgmental, narrow-minded religion, as well as those fleeing from materialism, aimless agnosticism and the arrogant lies of atheism. That’s a party I don’t want to miss.
And my prayer is that the Spirit of God will fill the void once occupied by my law practice and spill out into our farm, our community and our world–honking loudly, like a wild goose.