Thursday, September 21, 2006

What would you do for free?

Neither the hair shirt or the soft birth will do. The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

- Frederick Buechner

A few years ago I had the opportunity of co-teaching a customized version of THE NETWORK course (developed for Willow Creek) -helping people in the church identify their unique selves and then connect that design with the needs in the church and community and world for service. While the ideas we explored were all new to some, most people didn't have big struggles figuring out personality identifiers or understanding spiritual gifts.

The challenge came when we started talking about passion. "What are you passionate about?" seemed to derail most of us. For some, it was a reality that we'd grown up in a religious culture that seemed to say that our passions should all be extinguished for the greater good of holiness and obedience. Thinking that the there might be a place for extraordinarily strong feelings about anything was rather new.

For others, this part of the discussion seemed out of place. While the other discussions were about how God created us (personality) and gifted us (spiritually) this was about something else. We'd walk people through discussions and quizes - "What would you like to do with the rest of your life if you knew you didn't have to worry about earning money to meet your needs or the needs of those who depend on you?"

We talked about the movie Chariots of Fire and the scene when Eric Liddel is explaining to his sister that he knows he's called to serve in China, but he also knows something else that he can't ignore: "...when I run, I feel God's pleasure."

(OK. That's the end of PART ONE of this rambling. I'll post this now and then come back and add to it later. I'll eventually get to the part where I explain the image I shared above. It's from Wycliffe new and soon to go live website.)

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