Waiting to be Discovered…

I have a real fondness for television shows that focus on discovering the diamond in the rough. Whether this is an item in your grandparents’ attic or an unassuming bloke with a voice of gold. These shows stir something in me in regards to redemption and restoration. Obviously it is not just me because these shows are packing our stations and our binging sessions.

  • Why are we so drawn to this?
  • What makes these shows compelling?

I think a major part of it is that each of us imagines that all that needs to happen for happiness, success, and ‘life to the fullest’ is to be discovered. If only we hit the reality show lottery, then we’d be an overnight sensation; a diamond in the rough! Is this truly reality? Will we ever be discovered?

  • What if we were to recognize that we were ‘discovered’ long ago?!?
  • How would our lives look if we lived as though the ‘discovery’ has already happened?

I’m convinced that each of us has, indeed, been discovered. Faith is built upon this assumption. Abraham Heschel wrote a wonderful book (one of many) titled: “G_d in Search of Man” — this book helps illuminate the idea of G_d’s pursuit and ultimately G_d’s ‘discovering’ us! Now what?

  • Once discovered…then what?
    • What’s our next step?
    • Where do we go now?
  • What’s the role of the one that discovered us?

I’d imagine if I were ‘discovered’ by a talent scout…I’d probably become their disciple and shape my decisions, actions, and words upon their recommendations and guidance. This would be obvious…a ‘no-brainer.’ Yet this is so far from where most of us go when it comes to our obedience and movements in G_d and faith.

  • Why?

Does it effect anything when we believe we ‘deserve’ to not just be ‘discovered’ but also that we are entitled to happiness, success, and life to the fullest. I also believe these things to be true but I believe they require our work & dedication and then we sit back and wait to reap the rewards of our pricelessness.

  • How have we gotten here?

In many ways the church has become the friend or family member that tells you you’re an amazing singer while closing the bathroom door to avoid hearing you perform. It’s not that the talent isn’t there but rather it needs to be honed, refined, disciplined. But we shy away from these hard truths in order not to hurt feelings and to maintain power.

  • Sometimes I wonder if we are holding out for a better scout!

The current ‘scout’ will require too much change, too much work, too much improvement. An internal, eternal, moral rollercoaster that shaping us into our ‘sensation’!

Sometimes it’s easier to just watch vicariously through the TV in comfort of our pajamas and ice-cream bowls.

We’ve been discovered – Now what are we going to do?

Discipleship — Dedication — Devotion

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Must be nice…

You’re probably familiar with this phrase or some close derivative of it:

  • x,y,z never happens to me…
  • I’d do anything to have something like this…
  • Wish I were so lucky…
  • I never win/get anything…

I’m sure you could add several other ones to this list. We’re all guilty of these types of responses and have been the recipient of them as well.

 

With social media taking the place of so many other forms of communications these types of statements seem to be on the rise. I think it is due to a couple of things. First, we’ve become much like the ancient Egyptians where we only record our victories (successes and positives) as opposed to a balanced view of our personal history/story. Secondly, when we encounter our social media threads we find ourself envious of the ideal life that we’ve pieced together from all the ‘great‘ things happening in everyone’s lives around us.

What would it look like if our first responses to good news for others was NOT to compare our own situation but instead to celebrate the favor that they’ve gained?

Our behavior on social media often reminds me a bit of a biblical story of ‘The Prodigal Son‘ where the one brother returns and the other’s response is something along the lines of, “but I never get to…” When we insert ourselves into these moments for other people we’re often guilty of stealing some of the joy, redemption, happiness that they were to receive. Just imagine if the older brother’s response would’ve been to contribute to the party and celebration as opposed to detracting from the moment?

So let’s challenge one another to celebrate the good that befalls our neighbor, cherish the moments of success of our friends, heap gladness onto the fortune of our family members. Let’s learn to bask in the glow of each others joy.

 

May Your New Year be but a Moment.

The idea of a smile and kind words often strikes me. Too frequently I find myself hurrying through life with not much time fore even the smallest pause.

But when I do → the present moment has time to fill up. The fullness of any given moment moves it from the secular into the sacred.

As we string these sacred moments together → one moment placed carefully on the continuum of life after another — our lives become enriched, our neighbors benefit, and our communities thrive!

These moments are a blessing…and like Abraham we should view these blessings as our opportunity to bless others.

This thinking reminds me, also, of Moses when he notices the burning bush…he allowed room for that moment to be filled up → pausing within it to notice that, though on fire, the bush was not being consumed. It is in the midst of that single moment that the ordinary shifted to the extraordinary…where the secular became the sacred! Shoes are removed, sand presses upon the soles → G_d is present! Blessed be He!

We must begin to move towards pausing.

We live in a culture that calls for us to ‘milk’ every moment trading time as a commodity. Never fully present rather leaving a wake of dismembered and abused time — swept too quickly into the past while we already begin to hunt and feast on the moments that have yet to come.

So, how do we move from a consumer of time to a curator of it, a partner with it?

A phrase I’ve become fond of is ‘breathing in the moment’ – we need to be more within time – when we slow down we allow ourselves the opportunity to take in more information. There is an important piece of breathing and moments that I feel is also vital – Exhaling! 

Exhaling is our opportunity to put back into the moment what we’ve taken out of it. What if we were to put back into every moment an equal amount to that which we removed…or better yet…more.

A deliberate intention of leaving each moment better off than when we arrived. How do we do such things?

Instead of a ‘wake’ of moments we begin to awaken moments.

I pray that this year is a year where we each awaken more moments with one another.

Happy New Year!