Mark de Jong
"I am being driven forward
Into an unknown land
The pass grows steeper
The air colder and sharper
A wind from my unknown goal
Stirs the strings
- Dag Hammarskjold
It is a big season of change both for Parachute and for me personally. Although I had been sensing a building need for change around Parachute festival for a while, it was still a huge challenge to actually make the decision that its season was over. I’ve had so many conflicting emotions and experiences through the transition.
At times I’ve felt a sense of grief to be parting with something that has taken so much of my focus for the past 25 years. When I have considered the many stories people have sent in expressing how the event impacted them, I have felt both overwhelmingly satisfied and extremely sad that the season has come to an end. At times I have felt incredibly relieved that this event that was getting harder to sustain is no longer consuming my every waking hour.
There have been so many emotions, and they can change from hour to hour.
You know, if we were fully ruled by our emotions, I doubt we would ever make this kind of jarring change. When change stretches our emotions we are tempted to go running back to the old and known. The old is safe and comfortable, the new is risky and unsure.
Without the courage to change things up when we sense a season is over, I doubt there would be much progress in our lives. Everything would become pretty boring and predictable. The world moves forward, our lives keep changing and there is always the new to discover, the better to develop and the opportunity to create something that has never been created before. Change pushes aside the old to make way for the new, change leads to things that are brighter, better and more relevant, change is exciting.
So, emotions aside, these past few months have been an amazing time of looking forward. We’ve spent time refocusing the Parachute mission to better achieve our goal of helping Musicians who are Christian influence NZ culture. My emotions are definitely now moving into excitement and possibility for the future. The old is making way for the new and it is awesome to be part of that process.
I want to say a huge thank you to all of those who have written, given words of encouragement, sent gifts or just silently reaffirmed their support of what Parachute is all about. You guys have given me strength and renewed passion for the future – a future that will be even more impacting than the past. Thank you!