Monday, March 18, 2013

the Volunteer and the Called

Hello Beautiful

As humans our capacity for sacrifice is limited only by our mental belief in the things we hold true.  A friend recently ran a marathon.  His strong convictions in completing personal goals and pushing physical limits were matched by a strong regimented discipline. 

We all have goals that push our limits. We desire more than work, food, and sleep.  In a society connected to everything, our countries tenacious spirit has become a part of our genetic make-up.  If you desire to be a dancer, programmer, designer, banker, runner, house-dad, or gamer, a few clicks on the internet and some determination will take you there.  This world of limitless possibilities is only held back by our personal perspective.  The way we view ourselves and the essential nature of our task is often a greater limiting factor than anything physical.  Money, knowledge, and skills are diminutive determinants compared to our mind telling us we are unable to prevail or our hearts motivation extinguishing.

Our tenacity for perseverance further wanes when our goals do not directly affect our lives.  When we see insurmountable tasks in our organizations and churches we more easily can live with lowering the bar.  Thus we have the dichotomy of the volunteer and the called.

The Volunteer works because they want to.   They are the essential force of many organizations, but at the end of the day they get to go home and feel great about what they contributed.  Being a volunteer is a wonderful way to become involved.  But being called is very different.

The Called make a difference because they heard God tell them to be an agent of change and they love Him such to obey.  No matter what the sacrifice, how tired they become, or how long it takes, they will continue carrying the fight until it is won.  Their resolve and conviction is held not in a belief they have in themselves, but in a God that has delegated and entrusted them with this task.  How incredible it is to be asked to complete an assignment required by the King.  Whether it is raising a child, traveling to remote nations, working at a bank, or passing around the offering bucket, you have a prescribed job that the God of the Universe wants and needs you to accomplish.  Something for which you were specifically called and beautifully made.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Patron Saint of Lost Causes

Hello Beautiful

Today I heard a new song about the fallibility of our humanity as we try to achieve the impossible.  We have burning dreams implanted in our hearts to do great things.  Change the world.  Scale mountains.  Motivate a generation.  Even our goals of wealth and security can seem impossible when compared against the delicacy of our human nature.  Any small thing may set us back.  A bad morning, an accident on our drive, or a missed deadline.  There are so many cracks in the system we call life it is a wonder that we are able to make it through.

Yet many of us continue to fight and pursue these visions of a world changed.  A planet more beautiful, more unified, more reached.  Visions that, when viewed by human eyes, are lost causes.  Even more futile are our attempts when we examine the flesh and bone that is trying to execute such lofty goals.

The song I listened to has a chorus that echoes:

“That you are the patron saint of lost causes.
All you are to them is now a lost cause.“ –Amberlin

The artist is saying that in our road towards helping lost causes, we must not lose sight of the fact that we ourselves are a lost cause.  We are human.  As hopeless as this fact may first appear, it is a comforting notion.  We are, or at one point were, all lost causes.  Yet in the midst of it all God chose not only to pull us out of our feeble state, but employ us to reach a world left wandering in the dark.

Time and time again we hear stories of the impossible being achieved.  Food and medical attention sent to the desolate.  Book and resources given away by the millions.  Funds raised to research terminal illnesses.  Even stories that hit closer to home like abusive fathers restoring their family and addicts living free from their vices. 

Each of these stories begin with a lost cause by a lost cause with a dream.  And they end with the impossible coming true.  Great marks are not made on the Earth by accomplishing the average.  Our destiny is to believe for the impossible through a God that placed those dreams in our hearts, so that we may see lost causes become found.  And in that discovery we may find our own purpose and beauty.