The Servanthood Quest: One Year and Counting

Friends,

Exactly one year ago today I launched my new blog, “Assertive Servants.”  Thank you for supporting this adventure with your prayers and comments.

On January 1, 2014, the first post outlined my mission statement.

The night before he died, Jesus prayed, “I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me.” (John 17:6) 

Wouldn’t it be great if each of us could know which people and purposes God has assigned to us personally? We could focus our energies in a sustained and meaningful way, instead of spreading ourselves thin, trying to be all things to all people. My resolution for 2014 is to seek answers to two questions:

1. How can I know what my love-mission is?

2. Which skills and attitudes will help me carry out my mission well?

At the time, I had some pretty good guesses as to what my love-missions would be. The welfare of my family would top the list. Beyond that, I believed my personal calling would involve writing. My stories and articles would move people to put their trust in God. What could be more important? I pictured myself settling down at the computer for long, creative sessions of inspirational brilliance. As for “Assertive Servanthood,” I was inclined toward the “assertive” side of the equation. I wanted to learn to say “no” to the distractions that so often kept me from my writing.

Now, reading last year’s mission statement, I am both amused and pleased to see my surprisingly predictive words:  “Wouldn’t it be great if each of us could know which people and purposes God has assigned to us personally?”

My year 2014 has turned out to be all about people! I’ve had startling opportunities to make significant, positive differences in the lives of people whom God has placed squarely into my path. I’m now happily up to my ears in new commitments and responsibilities.

These days, I’m playing the role of a closely involved “grandma” to a family of kids that I hadn’t even met a year ago. I’m also coordinating care for an elderly friend. I’m recruiting volunteers for a charitable project that has come together as if by magic–each piece falling into place at the right moment and each volunteer finding a unique niche. My writing has taken a back seat while I focus on the dear people that God has drawn into my life.

Today, New Year’s Day 2015, is a time for assessment. Did I achieve my 2014 resolutions? Have I found my love-mission? Or have I succumbed to yet another round of detours from my true calling to write?

Writing the Assertiveness blog has forced me to face my old habit of blaming other people for my decisions. I’ve become increasingly aware that every choice I make is truly my own. Therefore, the decision to put my writing on hold was made with eyes wide open.

The person that I call “me” is more like a community than a single individual. My desires often conflict. Every important decision carries mixed emotions. Yes, I still want to write. I’m sorry I’ve fallen behind in my goals, and I hope to catch up soon. Do I regret this past year of beehive-like activity that has taken me away from my desk? Definitely not! I feel blessed to play my small role in God’s great work.

What about my resolution to say “no” to distractions? Actually, I’m not doing too badly on that score. I’ve declined a number of requests and opportunities this year. For the most part, I’ve said “no” comfortably, because I was simultaneously saying “yes” to God’s calling to the work He has chosen for me. One of the distractions I’ve had to say “no” to was my idealized vision of myself as a fulltime writer.

Later this month, I’ll be heading to Central America for a reunion with the Costa Rican family that hosted me long ago as a study-abroad student. Until recently, this trip was a distant pipe-dream. Although my Costa Rican family has always held a big place in my heart, I had never managed to return to visit them and I was beginning to doubt that I’d ever get there. Then the process of blogging about Assertive Servanthood reminded me that it’s up to me to make time for the things that really matter. After I named and claimed my travel goal, hearts and minds came together across the miles, resources materialized, schedules fell into place and suddenly this daydream is becoming a reality–a bountiful overflow of God’s goodness.

To all of you who have followed and supported my blogging efforts, I give you my heartfelt thanks and wishes for a very blessed New Year. I hope to write to you again soon, but who knows? All in God’s good time.

Comments

  1. Ricki Disitn says:

    You nailed it! I, for one experience the same struggles.
    Thank you for sharing your heart. I love you for saying what I feel.
    Ricki

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