Beeee yourself.

by Ellen in ,

I've been having some pretty weird dreams lately, but I haven't been able to remember them past the shower. I don't know, they are sticking with me, but I know they're weird.

There is something that George said to me the other day when I was complaining about something. Well, I was complaining about why we had to change the readings for Sunday when I had already made my Sunday school lesson around one of the readings that got changed. He told me in his very George-ish way that the priests here at Calvary like to preach about living an authentic life. And the preacher that say gets to choose the readings that they feel most embrace that, because they'll likely be preaching about it and incorporating it into their sermon. While I was huffing and puffing, I realized that what he said is SO great. I mean, he was really telling me that I was missing the point and to stop complaining, so I did, and I've been thinking about the point ever since.

What is an "authentic life"? Is it listening to your inner voice? to God? to the people that you know who know you better than you know yourself?

I'm not sure. I think for me, it's trying to live the way that Jesus lived, not died. It's great that he died and everything, because if he hadn't none of us would be here, but his life is what is written about the most. Jesus said things, did things, and walked around on two feet. He lived and breathed and prayed and probably tripped over his own feet and maybe even swallowed his food the wrong way sometimes. But he was real, and good, and loved us. He taught us to love each other, to listen to each other, and to serve each other ALL THE TIME.

He told us that we have received gifts from our Father, and we should put them to good use. They are all different, and we should understand what our gifts are so we can use them effectively and in God's name. But I also think that we need to feel passionate about how we use them.

Some people do their jobs, and they go every day, do whatever they do, and come home. Their job only stays in the building where they go to do it, and then life starts on the way home from work when they listen to their favorite song on the radio and they're reminded of something bigger.

Then there are the people who never stop working. They don't see their family, and if they don't have a family, they don't make time for themselves or the people who miss them because they work so much. Their work is their life, but only because it consumes every waking moment and all the energy they have, so they fall asleep when they finally get home, and get up and do it again.

I think there's something in the middle. I think we have a purpose to live out, not necessarily a plan. A purpose is not scheduled to the minute, and it's not constrained by a job to do. I think that if we listen to the people that know us best, that can point out what they see we are passionate about, we have a better chance of knowing our purpose. Because let's face it, we all have one, and it's what we spend our lives looking for, trying new things because of it, switching jobs because the one we have just isn't cutting it.

If you feel drawn to something, don't ignore it. If your favorite thing is to rebuild houses on the Gulf Coast and feed people who are hungry, do it for your life. Don't do something you think you should just because it's "time" or it's what everyone has been telling you is the obvious choice. Try to understand why your favorite things are the things that fill you up, and don't ignore it. Could it be your purpose? Is it your calling toward your authentic life? Maybe. We could all probably help a LOT more people if we understood our gifts and actually used them.

My favorite things right now are running and taking photos. Sometimes simultaneously. The people that know me best tell me what they see in me, and it's always more than what I see in myself. So, I'm trying to listen, because God's voice is always blaring through the voices of the people who I love and who love me. They know I can keep running and that I should probably do something with my photos. Like...move to OKC and work for Aaron Snow for free. (That would be awesome)

Anyway, please don't ignore the signs for living out your purpose. It's fine to screw it up 100 times a day, but in the end, do what fills you up and deepens your relationship to God. Please don't do something that is going to limit or stifle what it is you really love.

I think this is all very important.

Yes, here I am wearing the AIDS banner like a cape. If you come to Calvary until October 26th, you'll see it at its best: hanging from the ceiling.