"I didn't ask my kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. I told them God had already created them to be something, and invited them to discover who that was."
Those words of wisdom were spoken by Jim, one of the wonderful readers of this blog, who I met in real life this past Saturday when he came to my Socratic Scripture study session.* We were talking about Solomon and wisdom and the power of asking the right question.
So, let me ask you: What are you discovering about who God has created you to be?
When have you done something or said something and noticed life coming forth? When has your soul has stirred in excitement and joy? When have you felt like you, the real and deepest you?
For some of us, it's been a long time since we've felt any of those things.
Life takes us in so many directions as we age. Other people's expectations aim us towards targets that would not have been our first choice. The pressures to provide for ourselves and those we love push us to go in the direction that can make us a decent wage, regardless of whether it's what we want to do. Our fears pull us back from risk and possible failure.
Yet no matter how old we get, no matter how far we stray from what we once dreamed, we never leave behind our best and true self.
I believe there are unique and beautiful gifts that has been planted within each one of us. We carry seeds that can spring forth into life around us.
Those seeds may sit dormant for a time, but they do not die. Sometimes it just takes a little digging to remember they are underground, and to nurture them back into their potential.
Maybe you are stuck in a job you hate, but are there pieces of it, small corners and edges that feel right and good. How could you cultivate that ground, even if you cannot leave the garden?
Are you someone who is good at seeing and encouraging those around you? Are you someone who is good at seeing the path to a solution when everyone else seems stuck? Are you someone who is able to put into clear words what everyone is dancing around? What are you good at? What brings you life? What brings life to others?
What would it feel like and look like to notice those things, and do them more? How might tilling and cultivating that ground change your experiences now? How might the seeds that grow from it take you in new directions?
Parker Palmer says, "Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It's a calling that I hear."
What are you hearing in your soul today?
* I would love to have you join me in one of the next Socratic Scripture study sessions! There two coming in the next month. One will be a study on Knowing God and the new covenant of Jeremiah 31. The other will be a study on Grace and the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. See more details and register on my Socratic Studies page.