Within the next few days I am going to share one my dreams with you. It might border on being a vision, I’m honestly not sure. But what I do know is that it has been with me now for about five years, a constant companion and sometime topic of conversation. I’m going to throw it out here in the next few days, and ask you to help me make some decisions which I have avoided making about it.
Before I do that, I thought it might be a good idea to tell you a little bit about the way I think. As I have moved through different ministry potions and jobs I have often struggled with the nature of my work. A pastor’s work is varied to a ridiculous degree… I am an amateur website builder, public speaker, office manager, vision caster, attendance taker, janitor, spiritual guide and the guy who fixes toilets. Since coming to Bethesda I’ve also sometimes been a landlord, cut the grass and played the ukulele in worship.
I’ve struggled to build a framework for myself as a person and a professional that allowed me to do much needed and healthy self-reflection. Really, if I am slipping in one area or catch criticism in one aspect of my work, I can always point to numerous other areas in which I’m doing great work! “I really busted a move on that downstairs toilet!” A helpful model of self-evaluation is critical for self-qualifying and quantifying my work.
What I have landed on is nothing new, and certainly not a magic recipe for anything. It’s just my little framing, and you’ll probably find it both obvious and simple. I think of three things when I self-reflect, three questions: Am I… 1) doing what I ought to be doing in this time, 2) being what ought to be in this time, and 3) leaving anything good in my passing through these days and this life? You might think of it as Do, Be and Gift (“gift” being a way of saying “produce” that has some beauty to it).
The subject and substance of my next blog entry, when I open up a dream of mine to you, is more about the gifting part of all that fluff I just unloaded on you. More than my legacy, but my gifting to my species and planet, to my God’s Kingdom and Will. Some of you’ve heard me speak of it, but most haven’t. I have been afraid to share it often or well. I feel it’s bigger than I am, and that scares me. And honestly, I usually answer the doing and being questions more quickly and easily than the gifting question. So I’m going public with it… and I wonder if there will be people willing to hold me accountable for having had this dream.
Oh, and I’m not being dramatic with you. I just know myself. Sloth is a deadly sin for a reason. And I have battled slothfulness my whole life, and still do today. Bringing my dream out in the open might force my hand to deal with it, and either put it to the test or to bed.
So, long story short… I’m throwing you a piece of my dreaming real soon… watch out!