Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Life Abundant


"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive”.  
-Rev. Howard Thurman

I talk a lot about how hard I work and how this job is a lot to keep on top of and how I'm exhausted a lot of the time with all the travel...and all of this is true. But when it gets down to brass tacks, mostly, I do this job because it's SO MUCH FUN!! Like, I really super-duper love it. And it makes me so very happy. It's where I shine.

I've been doing a little personality exploring and took this awesome, super quick Meyers-Briggs-ish test. I landed with the following results: ENFP. Nailed it. This description completely nails it. They sort of sum this personality type up with this oh-so-true statement, "ENFPs are fiercely independent, and much more than stability and security, they crave creativity and freedom," which could not be a more accurate description of me. I also found this little gem describing the 25 Struggles Only ENFPs Will Understand. Brilliant!

This past weekend I gave a talk at a small church in Marceline, Missouri entitled, "Life Abundant". The whole idea is that we, as Christ followers, are called into living this life in an abundant way. Not as a pleasure-seeking, all-about-me, self-serving thing, but as models of a Kingdom that is both now and not yet. God calls us to something greater - not simply for our own pleasure (although there is plenty of that too), but to model and demonstrate what the Kingdom of God is like to those who have lost sight. The Kingdom of God is an upside down Kingdom, and it’s found in the most unlikely places, it’s moving and fluid and full of life and joy and peace and great adventure, and as Christ followers, we are called to model this to all whom we come in contact with. On earth as it is in heaven. From the most rural corners of Missouri all the way to Mozambique, Africa. We are called to be light bearers. We are called to be Kingdom dwellers.

How do we do that? How do we best shine? I think it's a lot more beautiful and a lot more simple than we sometimes allow ourselves to think. This isn't some false cultivation of a candy-coated piousness. It's about knowing and living into exactly who we are created to be - knowing our strengths, gifts, talents, and even our weaknesses and living into the best versions of ourselves. It's about shedding the internal and external shackles that prevent us from being who we are created to be and learning to live freely, while modeling this freedom to every person we meet. In other words, we shine this light when we are our most authentic versions of ourselves.

And certainly it is privilege that affords me this job; not everyone loves their work. But living abundantly is not about how we pay the bills. It's about holding an inner space of gratitude and awe and authenticity, and most of all, living into who we are called to be no matter the circumstances. I mentioned the personality test because as I understand more about who I uniquely am in this world, I am trying to learn to cultivate and live into those things not only at work, but also while I'm doing the dishes, while I'm walking the dog, and while I'm waiting in traffic (I still suck at this one, btw). That little test really highlighted those strengths and weaknesses in me, and through such self-exploring exercises, I'm learning to know and love myself all over again. And it's funny because the more I know and love myself, the more equipped I become to know and love others. As we polish off the dust and take away the bushels we hide under, the brighter we shine!

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