Posts Tagged ‘Purpose’

Pockets of Meaning

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

We were not created to be busy.  We were not created to live in fear.  God created us for purpose, for use, for service, for love finding its way into action.  He created us for happiness.

And we know that place don’t we, those pockets of meaning, that place in our lives where purpose happily breathes, where actions grow not from an inertia-tainted pushing but from a heartfelt pull, a longing as it where.  Such a place feels like home.

That place in many ways places our lives as running against cultural trends of speed, self interest, and consumerism.  The math … far different.  Calculations, qualifications, credentials of a new sort.   A gentleness, a more wide-eyed wonder settles in.  Conviction and voice focus and grow.

These words in the Bible from Isaiah speak to that place….

 

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen one in whom I delight;

I will put my Spirit on him,

and he will bring justice to the nations.

He will not shout or cry out,

or raise his voice in the streets.

A bruised reed he will not break,

and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

he will not falter or be discouraged

till he establishes justice on earth.

In his teaching the islands will put their hope.” (Isaiah 42)

 

Beautiful!  A place where we sing.

 

How Do I Find My God-Given Gifts?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

We search for purpose in our lives.  How do we find purpose?  How do we find what we were created to be?  Look at your God-given strengths. Those strengths – the finger prints of God – will point you towards your purpose.

I have used “Authentic Happiness” for years as a way of discovering strengths.

  1. Go to the “Authentic Happiness” website.
  2. Register (Top Right)
  3. Take the “VIA Signature Strengths Survey”
  4. Print up your top 5 Strengths
  5. Discuss with someone how these might connect to your purpose in life.  Remember your purpose may be connected or it might not.

“While a person is being regenerated and becoming spiritual he is involved constantly in conflict.”

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Regeneration – re-creation – is not for wimps!  Emanuel Swedenborg, who wrote much of our Christian New Church canon, was clear.  It is hard work.  Many of us find ourselves in what can feel like actual hell, far removed from God, our loved ones, and our fellow human beings.  We even feel far removed from ourselves.

That conflict is not without purpose.  Important to acknowledge – these are not “tests” that God sends down from on high.  These are tests of our own choosing, even though we may well not have chosen the particular circumstances we find our life in.  How does that work?

Well, I believe it starts with the candid acknowledgement that if we find ourselves in hell, it is the hell of our own choosing.  We can, as a famous saint noted, make our life “heaven all the way to heaven or hell all the way hell.”  And there is the source conflict.

Visualize a 12 inch ruler measuring the depth of your life.  11 of those inches are often garbage – the petty parts of our human nature – greed, anger, jealously, revenge, avarice – all there.  At the bottom inch is God’s Divine Spark – purely gifted to you, as your own, for you to use as your own.  It is already in heaven.  It is already connected to God.  It is already in God.

Regeneration is about bringing our lives down to that inch, allowing our existence to settle in that place so we can act from that place.  From there we look from the light to the darkness and, miracle, the darkness is no longer dark.  It no longer holds power.  The “11 inches” is nothing – no thing.

It does not happen without conflict.  I see in myself often the mistaken belief that the 11 inches was actually created by someone else, that I never chose it.  And yet, gulp, I did, and I do.  Of course people hurt people – absolutely.   Yet, do we see light or darkness?  From the 11 inches or the 1?  Do we chose heaven all the way to heaven, or hell all the way to hell?

Purpose

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Every love has a purpose.  Purpose pushes us thr0ugh fears.  Discovering purpose adds direction and power to our lives.

When “lost in our thoughts” though that purpose is hard to discover.  God’s voice and His vision for us become obscured by the illusions created by our fretful minds, minds tossing and turning constantly, weighing and categorizing.

That is not where we will be able to find God.  Rather consistently, after giving a sermon, I get “lost in my thoughts.” What went right. What did not.  Where did I mis-speak.  What did I fail to speak to.  Who did I support.  Who did I offend.  Crazy stuff.   One avenue to right the ship is to refocus on the purpose of ministry – teaching God’s truth that leads to a good life.  I think many of use share those same challenges in work and in our sacred relationships and battle to re-orient ourselves to purpose.

As such journey is about constantly rediscovering “purpose.”  Rich Rohr once spoke that we all should pray for at least one humiliation a day.  Good words.   Small humiliations, small “trips and stumbles” may start to create the fertile soil for really discovering God.  For the fact is “being lost in our thoughts” rarely (never?) yields results.  What yields results is not then the resolution of the being lost in our thoughts but the giving up even of the being lost there to God.  We don’t sort the jumbled basket.  We turn it over to God.  From that place, we will re-find purpose.  We seem to need to get good-and-crazy though before we give it over!