Investing Our Full Selves

It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Blue skies, blue waters and moderately warm temperatures.

As I stood on the dock waiting to be picked up by a friend, I became mesmerized by two different gentleman working on their boats.

One had a smile on his face and was polishing his watercraft with great earnestness. The other was scowling and his body language suggested that he was none too happy to be cleaning his boat.

While I knew neither of these gentleman, nor any of the circumstances that brought them to their task, it was crystal clear to me that one was quite passionate about doing the task and the other did so quite begrudgingly.

This scene caused me to ponder, while I waited for my ride, how do I approach the tasks that come my way? Do I bring passion or do I do as little as necessary to get the job done?

Obviously, like most people, there are tasks that I relish and there are others that I would rather not do. Yet, regardless of the task, how would I assess my normative approach?

Susan Daughtry, your Missioner for Formation, often tells folks in the ordination process something along the lines that God does not expect us to be perfect. I completely agree. However, I also believe that God wants us to bring our full self to what we are called to do.

I would suggest that God does not expect us to be perfect, but I believe that God does want us to be passionate. You have consistently heard me say that we are all uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit – and those gifts are not for us, but for God’s works in the world.

For me, our previous Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, articulates this calling to live our lives as passionate people best when she says, “Our own willingness to invest our full selves in a passionate dream […] is perhaps the most worthy possible use of one’s life.” (Stanford University’s 2016 Baccalaureate Speech).

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