Thursday, March 3, 2011

More Good Words

I just read an online article that asks these questions: A number of folks (from different walks of life) were asked to answer. 
Where are the world's needs and hurts? Where do we need to focus the life-giving news of Christ as we think about our callings?'"

Their responses can be found here.

My favorite reply?
This one:

The question offered was, "Where are the world's needs and hurts? Where do we need to focus the life-giving news of Christ as we think about our callings?"
You write this question as if every option in the world were open to you, and I recall with wistfulness that sort of openness to life. Rejoice in this moment. Later adult life holds other pleasures, but not the pleasure of wondering what to do with this good world.
I return to Frederick Buechner's quote, "The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." Since the world's deep hunger is present everywhere, why not focus on finding your great gladness? By this I don't mean "why not just live for pleasure," but what do you already know about what you love? Can you make beauty? Then be an artist. Do you love to read? Then study literature. Figure out how to survive financially while you do these things. It's kind of a beautiful thing that the economy may not allow new workers to expect much money. In some ways you may be spared the idolatrous pull of "a good-paying job." Travel if you have the opportunity, and if you can afford to volunteer in a needy part of the world, do it while you are unencumbered by job and family needs. If travel doesn't appeal to you, return to a place you love, or a place that brings out the best in you. If you do not have a sense of your Calling with a Capital C, then find small callings that challenge and satisfy you. Trust that you will figure out what's next when you need to.
In my own life, I took a job with the CCO campus ministry group after college, even though I'd never heard of the organization. I could see the organizational ethic of playfulness-tempered-by-intellectual-rigour in each of the recruiters I met, and that impression remained true. Although my work life since then looks nothing like "a career path," I've worked in education for most of my adult life. I still feel very lucky and blessed when I consider that first career move.
Go someplace you love, find work you can tolerate, and invest yourself. Anywhere will do, as long as it gives you life.
If you truly have no place to go, apply to work at the YMCA of the Rockies, outside of Estes Park, Colorado, and if anyone asks you why, tell them it's because Denise Frame Harlan always wished she could work there, in that small hospitality center in the mountains, and in a life free from worries about food and housing.
Wherever you go, the world needs good friendships, good neighbours, good lay-people in the pews of churches, and kindness and steadfastness. Buechner suggests that you choose neither the hair shirt of difficulty nor the soft bed of luxurious life. Anywhere in the middle will do.

How about you?
Complete this sentence:

The world needs me ...

- nursing sick people?
- teaching preschool?
- painting houses?
- painting portraits?
- making bread?
- making music?
- making policies?
- writing grant proposals?
- writing novels?
- caring for my parents?
- cleaning toilets?
- making concrete pipe?
- designing homes?
- flying airplanes?

These thoughts have me thinking about my Personal Vision Statement again...

Found a few more kicking around the office:

My vision is to be rooted in the presence of God in a personal relationship that continually heals, restores, challenges, and calls me. To be fully present in the lives of those I'm called to, and in being so, helping others discover and live courageously out their God given design for life and ministry.


Empowered by the Holy Spirit, I aim to:
  • Grow daily in intimacy with Jesus through focused times enjoying his presence.
  • Continually increase my knowledge of, dependence on, and obedience to God.
  • Love my wife as Christ loved the church, giving myself up for her daily.
  • Teach my sons by cultivating their amazement at the person and work of Jesus which will lead them on a lifelong quest to love God and others.
  • Impact the lives of families locally, nationally and internationally by equipping leaders to serve families.

I want to be known as a Christ follower, a friend, a community member, a traveler, a hairdresser, a speaker and a listener. 

I will spend time with Jesus everyday. I will see beauty in the people and places around me. I will be fully present with each person I am with. I will actively participate in my community. I will share my story. I will care for my body and my soul. I will affirm the role of the local church and actively participate as a member of the body of Christ. 

Inspiring, no?
Do you have a PVS?
Care to share?

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