think through them

“My journey of faith must be personal in the sense that I struggle intellectually with issues that cut close to the heart of my identity.  As a member of the human race, a citizen of a broken world, and a follower of Jesus Christ, I can not hang up my commitments, desires, rebellions, resignations, and uncertainties like a coat on a coat rack before entering my pursuit of answers, to be taken up and put on when the work of the day is over.  How can I abstract from my commitments, desires, rebellions, resignations, and uncertainties?  I must think through them, with as much rigor as I can muster.”
– Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace

Call to Heroism

Could it be that our cultures of mistrust, cynicism, and idolatry of fame and power have caused a “crisis of heroism?”  “There are, in fact, few heroes.  We have no shortage of celebrities, but heroes are increasingly scarce.”  The phenomenon of the modern celebrity has widened the gap between fame and greatness.  In the past, heroism was connected with real achievement and profound displays of character, virtue, wisdom, athleticism, the arts, etc.  Today, we do not have many heroes, we have celebrities who are “well-known for being well-known.”  A big name rather than a big person….

Heroism is birthed from a transcendant call.  The Caller “challenges us directly to rise to our full stature as human beings.”  His call is to rise up by His grace and power and to become the people we are intended to be.  This call to inner greatness and heroic character is not a self-help scheme or a do-it-yourself project.  We are called by a “decisive divine word whose creative power is the deepest secret of the change.”
-thoughts from Os Guiness, The Call, chpt. 10.

journal, journey

Just thinking about the act and habit of journaling today.  Journaling keeps me moving and growing.  Reflecting, praying and thinking with a pen in my hand helps me to make sense of life, to encounter truth with wisdom and the heart, and to pay attention to God’s voice.  I’m an intuitive, so I often end up journaling about concepts, big ideas, illustrations, future plans and projects.  And I really enjoy writing out verses from the Bible and my responses to them.

“Experience is not the best teacher, evaluated experience is the best teacher”. Howard Hendricks

There are at least five ways journaling helps me.

  • It cultivates awareness, both with the reality around me and the reality in me. 
  • This awareness can lead to honesty, which is at the heart of a transformed and vibrant life. 
  • It offers, over time, a sense of narrative to life.  I can see where I came from, where I am, where I am going.  The key players and themes of the past begin to show themselves in the present and direct my plans for the future.  Without this life-story awareness, the pursuit of meaning seems empty.
  • It is a tool we can use to dig for wisdom and insight, things that are discovered by the heart and woven to the soul only in the context of real life and through effort (see Hendricks quote above).
  • It enables us to access and pass-on what we have discovered.

the eternal appetite of infancy

perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.  It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” -Orthodoxy, Chesterton 

calling

“To know what we are here to do, and why, is not an abstract, philisophical question.  There is no question more personal and more passionate, no question that is closer to our hearts.”  -Os Guiness

“Vocation does not come from willfulness.  It comes from listening.  I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about – quite apart from what I would like it to be about – or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.”  -Parker Palmer

“Calling is where your deep hunger meets the world’s deep needs.”  -F. Buechner

“Calling is not primarily about increasing your earning potential or status, but it refers to the fact that God made you with certain capacities, and this world needs you to fulfill those.”  -JR Woodward

“That “ultimate why” for living, the highest source of purpose in human existence is to be found in answering the call of our Creator.  Calling is the truth that God has created us for Himself.”  -Os Guiness

“Instead of, ‘You are what you do,’ calling says, ‘Do what you are.'”  -Os Guiness