My Story

A good story offers a window to peer through in order to see something we could never come up with on our own. A great story ignites something within us that can’t be ignored and will never be forgotten. A good story informs us. A great story changes us. — from The Lazarus Life by Stephen Smith


My Story
mask-12We, as humans, are accustomed to wearing masks — masks of self-sufficiency, competence, and wholeness. Sometimes we give another person a true glimpse of who we really are and in doing so bless them and ourself as we are able to penetrate the barriers that seperate us. I attempt to reveal some of who I am in this blog for the purpose of reminding myself what makes me come alive. I hope that it will trigger self-reflection and risk taking by my readers — that you would risk relationship with others and with God.

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. — Howard Thurman

What makes me come alive vocationally?
Most recently I served as a trainer for a Christian non-profit involved in community-based development in Africa. I trained/coached teams of nationals that are implementing holistic community development projects in Nigeria and Cambodia. These men and women are empowering village leaders to mobilize rural communities – with the intent of using resources at hand to solve the community’s problems – resulting in transformative change. With the community initiating and owning the process, sustainability and continuity are a possibility even when outsiders leave. [See the sub-page, Empowering the Poor, linked at the bottom of this page.]

Currently, I’ve joined the ever-growing ranks of the unemployed. However, I soon hope to be employed in a position that provides me with the opportunity to engage some of the passions of my heart — sustainable food systems; training; addressing the needs of the disenfranchized.

This transition time has allowed me the opportunity to think about vocation, my place in the world, and how I would like the next chapter of my life to unfold. I’ve found some of the resources below helpful — encouraging me to think through my own history and the common themes that run through these events.

Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints. James Martin, SJ. 2006.

let-your-life-speak

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. Parker J. Palmer. 2000.

crossing-the-unknown-sea

Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity. David Whyte. 2001.

The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery. David G. Benner. 2004.



I think that a question we all need to answer is, “Who is God?” The conclusions we reach will determine how we relate to the world, other people, and even ourselves. I’ve been involved in community-based development because of my belief that we were designed by God to experience well-being. As staff, we talked in terms of holistic health threading through the spiritual, physical, psychological and societal realms of an individual and his/her community. My recent reading of some of Wendell Berry’s work has helped me reframe this discussion by speaking in terms of heath in relationships: our relationship to creation, to others, and to God. Some of my blogs will reflect this paradigm.


Your Story
It’s my hope that as you enter some of the stories found in this blog that you too will be transformed. Think of the power of stories that you’ve read or heard or seen (e.g., favorite movies); have they spoken to you in ways that stir you? in ways that motive you?


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: