Trailblazer or Pioneer

The other day I was commenting to my boss about my relationship with women clergy.  I mentioned that, in general, I seem to resonate more with those who were ordained in the 70’s than those being ordained now, at least those in the Presbyterian Church. He said, of course, they were the trailblazers.

I never thought of myself as much of a trailblazer.  I’m much too conventional for that.  But then, when I look back on my life … there ARE certain trailblazing aspects to my personality.

  • I don’t ever seem content with the status quo.
  • I’m not afraid to go a different direction than the crowd.  In fact, I LIKE going a different direction that the rest of the crowd.
  • I evaluate and think for myself.
  • I can see possibilities.
  • I thrive on influence.  That is, I feel most fulfilled when I am making a change or making a difference in something …

But I don’t really consider myself a trailblazer.  I think myself more as the pioneer type.  I like to be on the cutting edge, but not the bleeding edge.  I am not creating the trails, but when see a new trail that looks promising, I’m not afraid to be one of the first ones to travel that way.  I like to think I make it easier for others to follow.

Even the life of a pioneer is dangerous.  You never know, really, how dangerous it is until you’re there.  You can do your best to be prepared, but you have to have a lot of trust.  And you need a lot of imagination, because there are some challenges you cannot plan for ahead of time.

I could never live with the uncertainties of pioneer life without a trust, a deep faith, that Christ was leading me and Christ was with me.  Most of my motivation for pioneer life comes from a fire in my belly, not reason in my head … I am convinced that the Holy Spirit is present in me most through that fire in the belly … that passionate desire for a new way … a more Christ-like way.