We’ve not done it that way before!
I stopped counting how many times have I heard, “We’ve not done that way before!” However, I unsympathetically resembled that remark while traversing my way from where the Heathrow Express terminated at the Heathrow airport on my way to the United ticketing agent. I had never been through such a vast complexity. At first, my travel seemed simple: follow the signs, follow the crowd. I had the cockiness of teenagers in my past. I got this! Wait for it!
Sure, there were not as many steps to maneuvering the Heathrow experience as the Chicago O’Hare mess. I found more people in the UK more helpful than in the USA for giving this traveler directions, yet, I made one wrong decision at the airport without asking for help and I got to a point where I confessed to myself, “you idiot, you are lost!” Why maybe it is because I have never traveled this way before. The signs began to not look like the ones during the first third of my gate trekking adventure. I stopped and complained to myself again. I know if one of my cohort members were there I would have heard, “banana!” But I have never done it this way before.
That whole attitude reminded me what I heard from midwestern congregants I loved and served who lived out of routine and became fully discombobulated if route toward their mission changed. I have a bit more empathy for other lost congregational travelers than I did before my recent travels.
Van Doren wrote, “…intelligent action depends on knowledge.”  Gaining a better understanding of the lay of the land and where help can be obtained before one’s travels commence in an airport or a congregation is vital to get to the desired end.
Intelligent actions leading to the desired end are not always clear though. We can perform our due diligence, inspect along the way, and analyze ad nauseam, but without knowing what the purpose we are hoping to achieve, all we are doing is playing the role of the know-it-all. Knowing the signs of the times, our context, and having the willfulness to make intelligent actions are close cousins needed for our times. We might even want to rename this confluence of terms: intelligent discernment. Kinnison has a ministry toward this end: Transformational Pastoral Leadership. “To assist congregations, Transforming Pastoral Leadership suggests two processes that might help congregations discern God’s missional promptings as they move forward into God’s future and experience conflict as opportunities for transformation.” 
Being in a new country with new processes; not always knowing if going with the flow will be a favorable decision is quite the journey. We are all traveling somewhere. I argue it is a matter of being teachable so that we can receive trusted knowledge to make choices, and intelligent actions to experience a desired completed journey. The steps and missteps I took to arrive at my desired end will likely be of some help for another traveler one day who may also say to themselves, “you idiot, you are lost!” Fellow traveler, survey the land, know the purpose, and understand better how to discern the meaning of terms before listing and making too many actionable items in your new contexts.
 Charles Van Doren, “How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading,” (Kindle 65).
 Quentin P. Kinnison, 2016. “Transforming Pastoral Leadership: Reimagining Congregational Relationships for Changing Contexts.” Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications. http://ezproxy.nts.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1287004&site=ehost-live. (Accessed: October 30, 2018).