Friday, July 14, 2017

Living life at Godspeed: It's not what you think.

We have presuppositions and expectations of what church should be.  We may even believe that if certain elements of church are present or missing, it is therefore church or isn’t.  And before you read on, I invite you to watch a short documentary (30 minutes in length) titled “Godspeed: The Pace of Being Known.” It’s a story about an American pastor who journeys to Scotland with presuppositions and expectations of church and desiring to change the world, but arriving and is transformed himself by the life experiences of the Methlick parish.  

Godspeed: The Pace of Being Known
The Ranch Studios: Danny Lund

One of the opening lines of the video, “If you want to walk like Jesus, you have to slow down.”  Every city has a unique pulse and speed.  In the city, there also seems to be an urgency to get things done and to accomplish something--to be successful; and when we aren’t doing something exciting and if aren’t working towards some goal we often feel inadequate--even guilty.  Others may think there is something wrong with us.   Spiritually, if we’re not feeling great emotionally about our faith, about God, about church and about life in general, we feel that something must be wrong.  

The video Godspeed is a reminder that if we want to walk like Jesus, to experience the life and what it means to be human, we need to slow down.  3 kilometers an hour.   And in walking like Jesus, we slow down to really get to know people--really know people and their stories but to also to allow others to know who we are; knowing means to know each other as persons created in the image of God, to know each other’s fears and aspirations, our insecurities,  our struggles and our hopes.    The thing is, relationship is organic and it can’t be structured; when we try to force it, or if we have an agenda in mind--trust is broken even before the relationship begins.   The foundation of church is on relationships (relationship with the Triune God) and the embrace of the each other.   Slow down.  Slow down.  Slow down.  And in walking like Jesus, at Godspeed, we will experience God when we in fact “slow down so that we catch up to God.”  This is what I am learning to do; and personally, it starts with being--who we are: a child loved, forgiven, and reconciled with God our father.

While work is important to God and our work indeed matters, we also need to be reminded that the work is not the end in itself.   God is to receive all the glory.  We are building FOR the kingdom--we don’t build it.  We also have be careful not to be doing for the sake of doing; or doing because of someone else’s expectation for us. Don’t get trapped in the frantic whirlwind of doing or keeping yourself busy.   In my experience, that only leads to burnout--work becomes meaningless.   In other words, work with purpose and intentionality.  As an aside, occasional reflection on where you’re heading, what problem are you trying to solve, our strengths and values, how do I make a difference to the situation, and so forth can help us re-calibrate.   Another tool is to think about what are some things in your schedule you need to stop doing, start, or slowdown?  There is nothing wrong with slow--slow is good and imagine what life would be like if you began living and working at Godspeed.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

World Economic Forum: A growing number of people think their job is useless. Time to rethink the meaning of work

Article from World Economic Forum:  A growing number of people think their job is useless. Time to rethink the meaning of work

And I would say, Work Matters because the Creator God Works!  And we get to join in God's cosmos redeeming work!

I met a young man yesterday who was struggling with this question about what does faith have to do with our work.  Our society and church cultures continue to promote the dualism between the sacred and secular; the good and bad; and inside and of the world. Rather, everything that we do has the potential to be good work--it is all because of God's common grace.  And even when we think its bad work, God has a way to transform it into good in the end.  But it does require us to innovate new ideas, seek out new opportunities, and be empowered to make a difference wherever God calls us.  You can choose to live as a victim; or embrace our God given identity as children of God, those created in God's image, and ambassadors of His kingdom.  We are ekklesia! (I use the Greek, because the modern understanding of 'church' fails to describe its full meaning.)