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Sunday, November 12, 2006

parkalicious

A must-read: Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak. Wow. Here follows the chapter excerpts from a recent assignment I had...er, got... to do. It'll take you a little bit of time to sift through, but his thoughts are INSPIRING...

“My life is not only about my strengths and virtues; it is also about my liabilities and my limits, my trespasses and my shadow” (6). It’s easy for me to think that calling (within a vocation) is simply about the good strengths of my character and personality, but here I was reminded that in ministry we come face to face with the positives and the negatives. If life is lived out in reflection of the calling one receives, then I must face reality in those activities that give me energy, and those that ultimately provide frustration and death (to self).

“…vocation, or calling, comes from a voice external to ourselves, a voice of moral demand that asks us to become someone we are not yet – someone different, someone better, someone just beyond our reach” (10). Who is that external voice? Is it God? Is it man? Is the “voice” really a voice giving us hope and inspiration, or is it simply a call to the greater good, that as we sift through the garbage and muck of the present-day life, eventually we’re going to find the valley of green goodness on the other side of the landfill? I'm chewing on this one...

“…the God I know is the source of reality rather than morality, the source of what is rather than what ought to be” (50). How often Christians, in their pursuit for what becomes legalistic morality, forget that the essence of our faith is authenticity and reality. Likewise, in thinking about calling, I have to examine my own heart in the matter: am I being who I was created to be, or am I “being” what I think I ought to be in the good Christian scheme of life?

“To embrace weakness, liability, and darkness as part of who I am gives that part less sway over me, because all it ever wanted was to be acknowledged as part of my whole self” (71). To put it simply, I wrote “October 2006” next to this quote. Last month I embraced the reality of brokenness; I admitted the hardships of loneliness, and though it was a dark night or two of the soul, I’ve come to acknowledging my whole self, which I hadn’t done before.

“Those of us who readily embrace leadership, especially public leadership, tend towards extroversion, which often means ignoring what is happening inside ourselves” (79). Ditto to the previous paragraph. Many times I wear the extroverted mask that because I’m always around people (in ministry…), I’m not in need of the need inside of me. That need gets ignored and pushed to the side and masked in a number of different ways, until a brutal, unstoppable explosion of the heart occurs.

“If we want to save our lives, we cannot cling to them but must spend them with abandon” (105). My work crew motto 10 years ago was be here now; how true that mantra rings today. I cannot cling to the recognitions of yesteryear or hope for the fulfillment that the future might bring. In order for my life to be salvaged and made whole, I must run with wild abandon the here and now…

Yes. Your thoughts?

2 comments:

Gibbytron said...

Live in the now, honey!! I have read this book...

Jenderr said...

Man awesome quotes and thoughts Cara! I can totally relate to every one of those as I continue to process through some of these deep truths in my own life and ministry. Thanks for sharing, I always enjoy reading your posts! Keep it real sista!