broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Friday, July 21, 2006


Dear fellow travelers,

I got an interesting email the other day and in it there was a question that many of you might be asking. It went like this: “Pastor Dwight, you keep telling us to hang in there, keep trying, and to ‘go for it’. If I might be so bold – what is ‘it’, anyhow?”

Hmmmm? Good question. Truth is, there is no simple answer that fits every person. Today we are going to discuss the principles involved, but each person will need to fill in the details for themselves - because every person on earth is different (just look at your fingerprints) so, every answer will also be different. “It” can range from discovering a cure for cancer or founding a multinational multibillion-dollar business to making sure your journal is up-to-date or just making it to the end of today without allowing the pain to stop you in your tracks.

“It” is both large and small, long term and short term, life changing and daily sustaining – but it is always looking forward, for though it learns from the past it is never paralyzed by it. It is always a choice not an accident. And it can be judged and evaluated in both qualitative and quantitative ways.

Sometimes ‘it’ is a CALLING - a sense that you were placed on the earth, in this particular time and space and in your present condition, for a purpose bigger than just you. It is, in every sense of the words, doing what you were meant to do and knowing God smiled.

I have had the unbelievably humbling experience of knowing God’s call on my life more than once, and when the chips are down and things are going haywire, sometimes “the call” is all there is to hang onto – but it is enough! And ‘the call’ is not just to church-based ministry. I’ve known successful God called businessmen who ran their business as if God were the senior partner. I’ve also known God called public school teachers who felt called to teach in an otherwise Godless place - and felt His blessing when they obeyed.

‘It’ also involves your own GOALS. The simple fact is that real goals are powerful tools in the struggle for and attainment of success in ANY venture. They become the road map with directions to a specific place. They are the guidance system and wise council for making smart decisions. A goal is NOT a pipe dream that you’d like to “get to someday”, but rather is the clear and decisive target on which you set your ambitions and actions. I expect we will address this issue many times in the future – stay tuned!

‘It’, though, is not just “something out there”, but always involves the PROCESS - and the process always involves ACTION on our part. I could say all day that it would be nice if I wrote a blog today, but if I never discipline myself to sit down, type a draft, throw out the junk and write another, and another and another until this is readable and helpful, then this short essay would never happen. It would be a pipe dream without substance or usefulness.

And I would have failed to follow my own advice to “Go for it!” I desperately want to encourage you to DO “IT”. Only you know what ‘it’ is for you. But don’t allow yourself to be lulled into setting goals that are too small just because you are broken. God calls us to things we cannot do sometimes just to prove He is still God. I can’t walk, yet I climb five steps every Sunday morning - in God’s power - so that I can be a God called Pastor of music and worship in my church. Is it easy? No way! Is it logical? Not quite. But is it what God expects of me to fulfill my calling? Absolutely! So every Sunday morning I climb those stairs and a fine young teenaged man named Jonathan carries the chair up to the top of the stairs for me and I lead worship as God has called me to do.

‘It’ involves a call, a goal, a process, action, and a finally PASSION. A passion is a single minded sacred obsession to work harder than you have to, reach further than you can, accomplish more than is expected, and stretch yourself until you have re-created ‘you’ into something better and more like what God’s deepest desires are for you. It is not just “making do” with what you have, but it is applying your creativity and resources and energies into striving for more, bigger, better – all the way to outstanding and unbelievable. It is delight in becoming, and not just in existing. It is wanting and choosing to THRIVE and not just survive. It is joy in the journey and not just the reward. It is excitement and enthusiasm in taking action to accomplish something you were meant to do, and becoming who you were meant to be.

And so, one more time, and with all the gusto I can muster ---




Anonymous Terry said...

What a great message. "It" can be frustrating, energizing, motivating, and life changing all at the same time! Our attitude as we approach "it" is what makes the difference. "It" can certainly be scary at times, but I know personally that peace can only be known when we are actively pursuing "it." So as you have said Dwight, I am going for "it" with all the gusto I can muster, and all that God is willing to supply, which is endless, when I run out!


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