Tag: Moses

Do it today…sit down and write

PREPARATION

You can’t help it, your story is your expression of vision and revelation. Regardless of how secretive you are, your story puts your values and passions on display for the whole world to see. It’s a God thing and you are doing it with or without a pen.

Your story is more than a collection of experiences and happenings. It’s really about your gifts and how you use them. Think about it: Do your gifts end up promoting you, or do they reflect the creative-style of the giver?

Discovering and unwrapping your gifts is only part one of the journey–a part that tends to focus on the gifts more than the giver. It seems to explain what you can do without answering the “why” question–why do you do what you do?

The “calling” is the crucial second part. Why are you gifted? Why did God give you these gifts? What does he want you to do with them? What is he “calling” you to do? Gifts without “calling” are like fuel without an engine…it burns wildly but accomplishes nothing.

Some people, like Moses, spend the better part of their lives unwrapping gifts, uncertain about what God wants them to do with the gifts. They may explore various options, but spend most of their lives waiting for the burning bush.

Others are like Gideon: God calls him before he has become aware of the gifts he has. The call takes him on an adventure of discovery and spiritual awakening.

Truth is, we are individual expressions of gifts and calling. We are story… God’s story. And therein lies new chapters in the story God is still writing.

Robert McKee, the gifted teacher of the popular Story Seminar, has written a critically acclaimed book aptly titled “Story.” He teaches screenwriters and novelists how to write stories that make a difference. I don’t think he realizes it, but he has learned what God has known from the beginning: everything is about story.

Consider this:
Story is about…
principles, not rules
universal forms, not formulas
archetypes, not stereotypes
thoroughness, not shortcuts.

INSPIRATION

Vista Points are off the road pull-outs that give us visions of where we come from and where we’re going. They help us see the story within. Philip Yancey found a simple small group task that became for him a Vista Point, a revelation of his place in the “big” story. He was asked to write an open letter to God. Here is what he wrote in response.

Dear God,

Sometimes I treat you as a substance, a narcotic like alcohol or Valium, when I need a fix, to smooth over the harshness of reality, or to take it away. I can sometimes ease off from this world into an awareness of an invisible world; and most of the time I truly believe it exists, as real as this world of oxygen and grass and water. But how do I do the reverse, to let the reality of your world–of you–enter in and transform the numbing sameness of daily life, and my daily self?

I see progress, I admit, I see you now as someone I respect, even reverence, rather than fear. Now your mercy and grace impress me more than your holiness and awe. Jesus has done that for me, I suppose. He has tamed you, at least enough so that we can live together in the same cage without me cowering in the corner all the time. He has made you appealing, love-able. And I tell myself he has made me appealing and love-able to you as well. That’s not something I could ever come up with on my own: I have to take your word for it. Much of the time, I hardly believe it.

So how do I act as if you’re alive? How do the cells of my body, the same ones that sweat and urinate and get depressed and toss and turn in bed at night–how do these cells carry around the splendor of the God of the universe in a way that leaks out for others to notice? How do I love even one person with the love you came to bring?

Occasionally I get caught up in your world, and love you, and I’ve learned to cope OK in this world, but how do I bring the two together? That’s my prayer, I guess: to believe in the possibility of change. Living inside myself, change is hard to observe. How do I let you change me in my essence in my nature, to make me more like you? Or is that even possible?

Funny, I find it easier to believe in the impossible–to believe in the parting of the Red Sea, to believe in Easter–than to believe in what should seem more possible: the slow, steady dawning of your life in people like me. Help me to believe in the possible, God.

Philip

MOTIVATION

He noticed the same thing you have probably noticed; his letter seemed impersonal, distant, and tentative. God transformed that Vista Point into the calling for a new book, “Reaching for the Invisible God.”

Got time for a Vista Point this week?

Get off the road for a bit and spend some time writing your own “Open letter to God.” Put your journey in words. Dare to write down what comes out of your heart. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar or whether it sounds spiritual or religious. Just write.

If you accept this challenge, let me know.

Should you like to share your letter, I would be honored to read it. All letters will be kept private and confidential.

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March 7, 2011 | 0 Comments More