Monday, March 01, 2010

Loving Monday: Blueprints?

Snow Path

"God has a plan for your life."

Does he?

Let me digress. Once, a long time ago, I saw a piece of art that consisted of lightweight cloth and a wind source. I stood there watching it and thinking about Creation. I thought about the sky and how it was always the sky, as God planned. But it changed day by day. I thought about the trees and how they were always the trees, but the wind changed their shape in unpredictable fashion. Water is water, but its flow alters and splashes. The color of day makes a stream silver, then green or amber.

What does this mean for us as people? Are we basically people, free to change with times and seasons? Flexible, responsive, able to decide we don't want to stick with our story? Or are we, in simpler blueprint fashion, called and gifted for a particular path? Are we supposed to be following some kind of "plan for our lives"? Beckett's Loving Monday begins to suggest that, though I'm not sure how far Beckett himself would push the idea if questioned.

The idea of calling and gifting can give us direction in life. That seems good. Some people in history and the bible appear to fit into this model. But the idea of calling and gifting can also hold us back, "I don't feel called." Well, so? Maybe it is enough that you are a tree and today the wind is blowing East and you would delight to bend with it.

Sara Makes a Snow Path, photo by L.L. Barkat.

HighCallingBlogs Blueprint
Glynn's What is a Person Worth?
Lyla's Loving Monday: What Are We Doing Here?

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Blogger Jeanne Damoff said...

I like to live where I'm "called" to mystery, "gifted" to give, and where the God who commands the wind was also delighted to make the tree bendable. Whether I feel like I'm sticking with my story or not, He knows every page before it's turned. I suppose some might think that sounds like a form of bondage, but to me, it's perfect freedom. The lightweight cloth only dances when it's in proximity to the wind.

Thanks for asking great questions. Trying to wrap words around the answers just brightened a rainy Monday morning.

10:47 AM  
Blogger nAncY said...

wonderful snow path

11:04 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Bending with the wind... that's how I feel. Like being tossed on the waves.
Learning to be ok with that wind.

This is beautiful. Speaks into the core of my soul this morning. Life breathing words.
Thank you.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Glynn said...

This sounds like a theological discussion -- are we free or are we predestined?

We may be both.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Gray said...

What if our gifts opened within us, as we respond to calling? Like a tug on a bow, tied around our gifts?

Calling is a response -- to trust, try and be.

I like your invitation to be a tree. I like trees. ;)

1:12 PM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

or do we follow where the wind blows ... or spirit leads invoking both calling and gift

1:44 PM  
Blogger deb said...

Thank you for adding your particular wisdom to my Stuck question. Unintended of course.

because we just never know

1:54 PM  
Blogger TUC said...

What if that wind is really a tornado? What if you are afraid that it is going to lift you out of your comfort zone and dump you in Siberia?

2:25 PM  
Blogger philip john said...

Wonderful illustrations! The Sunday school class i help teach looked at a book called "The Will of God as a Way of Life." The title leaves NOTHING to the imagination but i think you would find it interesting.

It was great to see your comment on my blog LL! Please know that my poems are at at least for the time being!

Thanks again for your encouragement!

3:29 PM  
Blogger Real Live Preacher said...

I really like this. I think the role God plays is a paradox and not easily explained. But you did a good job of it.

featuring this in our next HCB newsletter that goes out this week.


5:38 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I've always thought that "The Plan" that He has is more concerned with my inner shaping than my outer circumstances. It makes sense with your wind ideas.

There's more than one way to shovel a snowpath...

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Lyla Lindquist said...

(Most of the time) I don't think He has one set path for us. But I do believe He has a particular way in which He made us to operate. We live the way He made us in the various contexts in which we find ourselves.

Gives me the flexibility to function within plans A, B, or C, depending on how I may have screwed up at one fork in the road or another.

7:35 PM  
Blogger SUNRISE SISTER said...

Having just returned from a lovely month in Maui, I'm loving your recall here of trees' lives. The Maui trees bend and grow with the wind - they feel etched against the blue sky and sentinel like at dusk. I like to think they've been called as witnesses to the ancient life of Maui, the life now, and the life they will probably still be living when we're gone. I don't know how much more they will bend with age - have they reached their potential....oooh, your post is a great one. Being called and being gifted are favorite subjects of mine and taking off on the trees has a whole other dimension:) Thanks!

9:10 PM  
Blogger ELK said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Monica Sharman said...

Ohhh. I think instead of reading to see what the author meant, I inserted my own ideas and understood his Blueprint chapter to emphasize the uniqueness of every individual rather than the fixed giftedness of a person. OK, I get it now.

I guess that's the problem with a blueprint analogy. Blueprints are fixed, printed with indelible ink. A more organic analogy might work better. Like a tree, or wind. :)

I smiled at your comment at HCB about your gift of complication! But your words here, and in general, are beautiful in their simplicity.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Marcus Goodyear said...

Uh oh. Glynn used the "p" word. He's got a good point, though.

My dad challenged me on this when I was saying no to some opportunities. "I'm not called to do those things," I said. "They aren't my passion."

He wondered what I would do if my passion was to just sit around on the couch all day doing nothing. Ouch. He was pushing hard, but he raised a good point. Sometimes we say, "I don't feel called." But we really mean, "I don't want to get off the couch."

12:58 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Ah yes. I do like this. So my being blown around is not such a bad thing after all? But the path part is what I like most. Seems like a strange one, but it's the path I'm on. And what can I do but follow (if I'm following Jesus with others).

10:10 PM  
Blogger Steve E said...

Yep, THANK YOU for this very thought-provoking post, it lends itself so well to my own beliefs, true or not.

I have this notion that everything happened in that eye-bling of Creation, and we are simply living it out...One Day--one eon--At A Time.

And whatever happens, God is in charge in the end. His is the outcome which will (or has?) prevail(ed).

Now, how did I get here to your blog--oh yeah, it was that Oh! so beautiful "Lovenotes to Yahweh"!

10:15 PM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

If I've heard one question over and over again from other Christian people, it's this... "What is my calling?" "How do I find it?" "How will I know?"

I think we've done some damage with this in our literature/retreats, etc. We don't give people permission to flesh this out in light of personal preference/giftings. Instead, we make it seem so cookie-cutter and predictable.

My calling (and I happen to believe that all of us fall in close proximity to this) is to simply know God and out of that knowing, lead others to know the same.

Know God.

Everything else falls beneath the shade of this overriding, pressing goal of my heart.

For what it's worth...


12:02 PM  
Blogger Tea With Tiffany said...

Since your blog is seedlings in stone, I thought I'd pop in to tell you I wrote a poem(a rarity) on my blog called "I am a Seedling."

Today, two days, after the fact, I remembered you.

May you be blessed!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Children of Eve said...

You know how I feel about this LL, I am just glad that you brought it up.

7:43 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

for some reason, the snow in your photo looks extra beautiful.

2:19 AM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

I want to be free - if that means bending - then I need to bend.

7:18 PM  

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