As I continue on my journey of constantly refining and redefining my life mission and purpose – all of which I’m still not completely clear on – I am learning that Jesus is teaching me that life is not so much about what you do, but what you become in the process. Someone once asked me, “Do you ever have clarity?” I do get clarity, occasionally. But it never seems to be more than just enough to keep me going. The question reminded me of this story from author Brennan Manning.
“When John Kavanaugh, the noted and famous ethicist, went to Calcutta, he was seeking Mother Teresa … and more. He went for three months to work at “the house of the dying” to find out how best he could spend the rest of his life.
When he met Mother Teresa, he asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she replied. He then uttered the request he had carried thousands of miles: “Clarity. Pray that I have clarity.”
“No,” Mother Teresa answered, “I will not do that.” When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh said that she always seemed to have clarity, the very kind of clarity he was looking for, Mother Teresa laughed and said: “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
I have decided that more than anything, life is more about personal evolution rather than clarity. We get an urging or prompting from God – and we filter it – and decide whether we believe we are capable of doing that or not. If we resist, for whatever reason, we’re stuck there. And then that is where God goes to work beginning to teach us – if we will allow him – and training us to be able to move into what he originally called us to.
God invited me into ministry nearly 15 years ago. And it’s taken me until fairly recently to even begin to believe that I might actually be capable of what he asked me to do, back then. Life really is a journey – a series of lessons – where God invites us and we decide if we are going to jump in or not. I’m learning that when I actually do jump in, He invites me to do it again, and again; each time I do it’s with a little more confidence than the time before.
This life with God is about taking risks and experimenting. It’s about the maturity of our heart into the heart of God. It actually starts to become fun when you re-frame your experience that way.
Do you have a burning desire to offer something to the world? Don’t worry about if it’s crazy or not. What’s the one thing you wouldn’t want to leave this earth without doing? In your heart of hearts, what do you really want to contribute to humanity? Remember what Howard Thurman wrote? “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” What makes you come alive? Figure out how to do that – and just go do it.