Vol. 5:5 Dreaming in Missional Ways

It’s been a while since I posted my last Missional Matters blog – since February in fact. I have gone through some changes in my life in which I sense a re-focusing and a recommitting of myself to those things that are important and vital in my life. I had too much on my plate and needed to get back to doing what I need to be doing – in much more simple ways.

In saying this, I realize that I am blogging again right in the midst of graduation and commencement speech season. This morning I was perusing through Flipboard – an smart phone app news magazine, and came across Steve Job’s commencement speech that he gave at Stanford in 2005.

He expressed that one of the questions he asked himself every day was: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And then he went on to remark, “And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

That’s an interesting question that has tremendous missional implications for me.

It has missional implications because I do not separate what I am planning to do, with how I am sensing my day will go, with what it means for me to be in mission with God.

If I find myself also answering “no” or feeling that what I am doing is being driven by the expectations of others more so than where God is leading me, then I realize that I need to re-focus the direction of my life and ministry – I am missing being attuned to God and God’s activity going on around me.

I find myself in such times putting expectations upon myself that lead me to be less joyful, less together, less focused, less happy and I am focusing more on surviving than thriving. As a result I am not that great to be with, nor do I want to be with others – I’ve got too much to do.

For when I am engaging in God’s mission in my life – as I live out participating with what I sense God to be doing around me integrated with the everydayness of my life – there is a rhythm in my life which leads me to be connected with life, with others – I am not harried as I engage persons and the world around me. I have time for people, I have time to listen, to engage, to respond. I am able to put my agenda on hold as I give myself to walk with others – they do not get in the way of what I want to be doing. They are the ones with whom I want to be doing what I am doing.

When I find myself being frustrated and perturbed by the people I am called alongside in order to walk with them so that they might discover the dreams and actions that shape and transform their lives, then I find myself looking in the mirror and saying “No.” Saying “no” too many times can really mess things up. It’s better to make changes sooner rather than later.

That change for me is rediscovering that I am wired (and called) to walk with people to guide them in their attending to God, to help them hear God, for their ears and lives to be open to respond to God, to live as disciples of Jesus, and to dream dreams with their lives that places them squarely in the midst of what God is up to in the world making all things new, all things whole – in all that they seek to do.

Based on what I have just said, I realize that too often other things get in the way and my life becomes way too much being about me. When what I would rather be is one who is an encourager to help others discover the fullness of God’s embrace that sets them free to grow as human beings.

So, perhaps reminding ourselves of our mission, of our participating with God in God’s mission is to stand in front of the mirror each and every morning to ask ourselves, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” May we have the courage to change, to be aligned with what the Spirit of God seeks to do in us and through us, so that our responses are more “yes” than “no.”

iMissional.org | Roland Kuhl