10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff
Friday, May 10, 2013
Where am I Going?
My mission, this morning, was dog training in an exercise format. That meant we didn't run straight when Coda wasn't executing a reasonable "heel", I'd change directions, turning around, run up a driveway and back, to help her watch her handler--that would be me.
When we came to a construction site, and it frightened her, we circled back to the worker by the truck, to stop for her to be petted. I asked first, and then let him know that I wanted to train a dog that was comfortable around workers. Also I shared I didn't think that they needed a skittish or aggressive dog near job sites. He petted. I thanked. On we ran.
We took purposeful detours for traffic, puppies, and children along the way. All so that we accomplished the mission. And then I began to notice how much this is like life, leadership, parenting and so much more. I was teaching my dog good citizenship and it mean that my agenda had to adapt in the circumstances of the experience (the run).
As a parent, grandparent, friend, leader, pastor, neighbor, and person, I often have to adapt to be a good, loving citizen of the world. I'm always pursuing my mission (life purpose, goals, integrity-- pick the term most helpful for you, they work about the same for me) even when the tasks and path need to adapt.
I believe that I have a valuable purpose in life and it's what life's all about in many vital ways. (Think either it's God given, how I'm made, connected to the cosmos... like before, don't get hung up on the word here.) For me it's all about living love with humility, justice and kindness while using the things that make me me (faith, music, ideas, ADD, energy, broad-inclusive thinking, ...). That's how I seek to live.
I always need help with that. I always have to adapt the strategies, agendas and tools of any given day to accomplish my purpose well. I'm always diminished if I get off track with that big goal, because I become a little less me (a little less missional, a little less what God wants, a little less what I'm designed for... pick again).
So, in all things, I work to include those around me. Sometimes I play games with my grand kids or students that I would never choose for my own amusement, but I choose them for love. I do some things with my wife because it's fun to be with her, and love her, not because the activity is my first choice. (Like the days she inquires, "Wouldn't it be fun to work in the flower beds today?") And I'm still on my mission of living love... of using my uniqueness... even with the detours and unanticipated choices!
And sometimes, I need to say, "no" or change directions, just like I do with Coda (the dog) on runs. And sometimes I run, knowing the mission isn't increased speed, or hill work, but a pet that can be a suitable companion in living love.
Who am I? Who is my handler, or who am I watching? Does your identity, or mission work with the groups I find yourself in? How often do I get off track? What simple invitations might I offer or respond to, so that I am true to my path and respectful of those with whom I find myself? I asked these questions this morning. Maybe they have some value for you. Let me know how your run is going!