Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Mid Life Crisis - Part 4

"... my greatest fear for my life and for yours is that we'll just get busy and distracted and settle for a mediocre, unexamined life. It's that we'll just settle into life as usual and never become the persons God intended for us to be." from PLAN B, by Pete Wilson (Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tennessee, 2009, page 193)

There it is in print for all to see. In a nutshell, just what I believe and message to my own sphere of influence. I don't want to settle for the mundane, I don't want anyone to settle for 'mundane'. But I seem to have gone a step further... I don't want to be mundane; and that is my Achilles heel.

For those who may not be familiar with Greek mythology, Achilles was a hero who had infinite strength, who's only weakness was the tendon on his heel. Otherwise, he was impervious to injury or death. Struck by an arrow in his heel though, he died.

For me, making a difference to a significant population is my Achilles heel. I'm staggering right now, by the thought that I might never become a person of influence. I'm chasing my own destiny and I'm not catching it - whatever it is.

On the other hand - and with me there always is an 'other hand' (like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, who is stuck in his decision-making process, seeing many sides to one issue), what really, really matters in this life is not what we achieve but who we are. I've written about it in FREE TO BE . Character is what really matters!

Now it seems I have come to a crisis point and all the rumination in the world may not solve the crisis (see below, Mid Life Crisis - Part 2).

Maybe I need to find the middle ground. Maybe there is a theory that making a difference in the life of a core few is enough to hope for, and to be grateful for. Maybe my reach has simply exceeded my grasp and at the middle of my life I need to realize that. Maybe.

But on the other hand, maybe my destiny is to affect many. And I just haven't figured out how to do that yet.

My head hurts from trying to work out this puzzle: I see my purpose but can't achieve it. I see my desire but cannot fulfill it. What is in the way?

Like Mona Lisa's smile, I have a glimpse of something but I don't know what it means.

... until next Thursday, may you keep seeking your heart and you wrestle with those things you want to do but find difficult to master.

Mona Lisa photo by Sarah Tun



Sarah Tun said...

It seems someone received this email whom I thought had asked to be connected. Seems I got it wrong as she was offended and has marked me as spam, rather than to reply to say she didn't want the email.
Seems I may be cut off. Well, if so, bless those who have enjoyed my series. Best to you all, always with best intentions, Sarah

Jeannie said...

Sarah, I'm going to do a little "pushback" here as Mark K. would say: I am a little bit suspicious of the idea (in the Wilson quote) that we might "never become the persons God intended for us to be." I think that sounds a bit like the cliché about finding "the right spouse" or going to "the right university" -- as if there is some wonderful perfect prize behind door #1 that we had better find or else.

Yes, we should use our talents and not hide them out of fear like the servant in Jesus' parable. Yes, we should be open to God's leading and try, through His Spirit in us, to do what we sense Him calling us to do. And no, we are not perfect and most of us have lots of things we can work on or let God work on in us. But ... we ARE the people God created us to be. We can't BE anything else but us. I think God is working in and through us beyond all we can ask or imagine, and we can trust Him to make us the "persons He wants us to be" through the daily mistakes, failures, successes, and joys of life. I don't know, maybe that sounds too simplistic -- but I am just wary of this idea because it can be awfully discouraging.

Thanks for these thought-provoking posts. It sounds like you are doing some "good work."

Sarah Tun said...

Thanks for your thought-provoking posts. And I'm glad you have 'pushed back' earnestly and thoughtfully. In one sense it is impossible not to be who God created us to be. In another, I think He wants so much that we may never discover because we don't make ourselves truly available.
I like your comment for several reasons but in particular because we DO discover who we are on a deeper and deeper level, simply by living. Not simplistic but accurate. Thanks as always, Jeannie.

Jeannie said...

I agree, Sarah, about the making ourselves available part. I think that a lot of that reluctance comes from fear, whether acknowledged or unacknowledged.

Sarah Tun said...

Well, the Bible says the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. In my life, I've tried to remember that but sometimes wisdom seems to take a back seat to the desire to keep control. Life can often be a bit of a roller coaster ride and while kids find roller coasters fun, I wonder if adults don't, statistically, prefer control over the spontaneity of the unknown.