I read this today, and it caught me right between the eyes. In a good way.
Yes, this. This is what I am in the midst of. Sometimes simply knowing someone else has been there too and has made the same non-bold, non-commitments to the same series of unrelated things they love . . . . . well, it helps me to continue in faith.
I was ready, this year, to take a leap off a cliff ( a faith leap you know). I thought it would mean a move to Africa. I thought I might be living in Northern Sudan with a tribe who has never heard of Jesus and doesn’t want to. Or in Southern Sudan with child prostitutes. Or in Congo or Uganda.
Instead I’m still sitting right here. And I love it. And I’m learning and growing like crazy. We all are. But it just doesn’t feel, you know, very productive.
Here’s an excerpt from the link above:
“He told this story: he was going around trying to figure out what he was supposed to do with his life, so he decided to visited a professor named Will Spong, who had a reputation for being a no-nonsense guy. Steven went to his office and explained how he loved business, he loved theater, and he loved the seminary, and then he asked Spong to tell him which one he should choose to pursue. This is how Spong answered:
This is the stupidest question anyone has asked me. You’re telling me that there are three things you love and you want me to tell you which two to cut off…so you can limp along on the other one? This is not how things work. The advice I have for you is: don’t discard. Find a way to keep all three of these things in the mix. We’ll find out [what you should do for a living]. Right now, what you do is spend 2 hours a week whole-heartedly engaged in each of those 3 things. Let them them talk to each other. Something will begin to happen in your life that is unique and powerful.
He went on to explain, “You don’t need a career, you need a calling. And right now, you’re listening.”
Yes, that’s what I’m doing, listening. And thinking, and dreaming, and exploring and learning joy and a whole host of other non-productive things that re not very bold and don’t look very radical. But sometimes, I recognize that just choosing to live life this way is very radical.
Again, from the link:
” there’s this technology for finding your way that doesn’t involve making some bold sacrificial commitment, but rather, being determined to keep all the pieces in play, and trusting that there’s some wisdom in that, that’s going to start to burble up into something you’re looking for. This is perhaps what the theologian and writer Frederich Buechner meant when he said, “You find your calling where your deep passion meets the world’s deep need.””
I love Frederich Buechner. And this burbling . . . . well, it pretty much perfectly describes where we’re at right now. Not very efficient or seemingly purposeful. But perhaps it’s actually that most important step that so often gets left out in our headlong dive towards meaning and productivity?