Blog Archives

Called to go beyond our limits ~ by Gregg Levoy

This is so marvelous, I wanted to share it with friends of the Kinesthetic Christian. ***

It makes perfect sense that we should be called to go beyond our limits, because the One that calls us is beyond all limits. I suspect that all the energy we have bound up in resisting our own potential is more energy than we’ll need to reach it. It takes as much energy to fail as it does to succeed. The strategies are legion:

  • Hiding behind the tasks of discernment. By analyzing a call to death and picking apart all its varying implications and by poring over calculations that would put an actuary into a coma, we lose all the heat from the heart through the head, as if we had been in the bitter cold without a hat.
  • Waiting for the Perfect Moment. Waiting for just the right combination of time, money, energy, education, freedom and the ideal alignment of the planets….
  • Telling ourselves lies. For instance, “I can’t afford it….” [when] the truth was, “I won’t afford it.” I won’t reprioritize my life, won’t make sacrifices….
  • Choosing a path parallel to the one we feel called to. One that’s close enough to keep an eye on it but not so close we’re tempted to jump tracks. We become an art critic rather than an artist, a school teacher rather than a parent, a reporter rather than a novelist.
  • Attempting to replace one calling with another. Because we don’t like it, our parents don’t like it, it doesn’t earn enough money or prestige.
  • Immediately turning a call into a Big Project. Thereby intimidating ourselves into paralysis.
  • Self-sabotage. We feel called to go to art or medical school but are so afraid of finding out we don’t have what it takes that we “forget” to mail the application until after its deadline has passed.
  • Distracting ourselves with other activities. We suddenly become inspired to finish old projects we haven’t thought about in ages.
  • Playing “sour grapes.” We believe we won’t succeed … or will suffer unduly, so we try to convince ourselves we don’t want it anyway.
  • Trying to make ourselves unworthy of a calling. Hoping that God will decide we’re not the person for the job and take it back.

The degree of resistance is probably proportionate to the amount of power waiting to be unleashed and the satisfaction to be experienced once the “no” breaks through to “yes” and the call is followed.

Source: Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life

Thank you, Gregg and Church of the Saviour.

If I Say I Am Writing a Book, Does that Make me a Writer?

I tell people, actually my daughter does, that I am writing a book. (That’s her way of being proud of me.) People are usually interested in this. I/we get several responses:

  • Oh, what you are writing about?
  • Oh, can I read it?
  • Oh, can we be the first in line to buy it? (ah, Shangri-La!)

But very often I get the response, “Oh, I would like to write a book.” I’m never quite sure how to respond to that. I think people have expertise they’d like to pass along or a story they’d like to tell. Perhaps all of us have this compulsion in some form or other. But what enamors us about writing a book? And indeed, what puts the stars in our eyes? The endpoint, seeing my words and my story in print, is indeed a tempting and lofty goal. But writing it…that’s the hurdle.

The first thing I want to say to them is, oh, are you a writer? By this I probably mean ‘have you been published.’ I stop short of saying ‘are you a writer, too?’ Because me, I am just learning to write. I wonder which comes first, the learning or the writing nature?

These interactions remind me a bit of the goal-setting sessions I had with my new little travel soccer players. (10 years old or so) The most enthusiastic and confident would say, “My goal is to score 3 goals (or more) per game.” Now, our team only scored 2 goals the whole game – on very good days – so I stifled the grin and said, “Wow. That would be great. What would you need to work on to do that?”

And that’s the issue with writing a book. First, one must learn the skill. And see if it’s fun, inspiring, or at least attracts you to the task. See if others connect with what you write. And even then, to stay the course is hard. As Lois Lowry said to her child audience in a webinar I heard yesterday, “It takes a long time to write a book.” And she is a gifted, gifted writer with an amazing imagination and 40-some published books.

When people tell me they’d like to write a book, I know it’s like little Sierra who wanted to score 3 goals per game. They have a dream and call it a goal. Even when it’s specific, measurable, reachable, etc. ….one still must slug through the steps toward it. And they are hard. We’re not good at them yet. And even when we get better, there are no guarantees.

We humans like to skip to the happy ending. Let me just jump right to Easter and skip all that Good Friday stuff. Scourging and flogging and crucifying? Pfft. Who needs it?

We do. We need to sit in the hard stuff. Work out the kinks. Negotiate with the difficult people – even and especially when they are us. We need the Passion before the Resurrection. Because in it, we discover the power in us: the ability, the aptitude, the strength of character. Perhaps it’s mostly the fortitude – enduring the daily grind and the perspective it offers. The view of the dirt at our feet as we step.

I am getting to know the protagonist in my story. We are becoming friends, perhaps closer than friends. Perhaps she is my daughter and all the daughters I have adopted along the way. It is to them I write this story. For them. Perhaps one day it will be a book.

%d bloggers like this: