What is God's mission in the world?
The Rev. Gary Teske, senior pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, 1245 N.H.:
I believe the answer to this question comes to us when we ask a different question. The key question for us isn't, "How do I know what is my mission in life?" Rather, the first and most important question is, "What is God's mission in the world?" When we focus on discerning and understanding God's plan, God's desires, God's "mission" not just to me but in and to the world, then I am able to see how and where I can participate in that mission.
I know that some would like to think that God has a detailed mission mapped out for them complete with addresses where they are supposed to live, required careers, and even particular men or women they are to marry. I don't deny that at times God has sent people on very specific missions, such as Moses to free the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. However, I don't believe that this is necessarily true for all of us. God is on a mission to bless and save the world, and I believe that first and foremost, our mission is to join in on that work whenever and wherever possible. I do not believe that God is like a catcher in a baseball game, flashing signals to me to throw a fastball or a curve, and that I fail in my mission when I miss a signal. My mission, regardless of where I live or who I marry, is to focus on knowing and embracing God's mission as I see it lived out by the great people of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and then to participate in that mission and continue that mission as God gives me opportunity and ability.
- Send e-mail to Gary Teske at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking back and acknowledging fate
Charles Gruber, Sufi minister, student of Zen Buddhism and member of the Oread Friends Meeting:
I choose to offer quotes and questions around this query. The quotes come from various sources. The questions come from members of my men's organization, the ManKind Project, after I put out a request for their wisdom.
"There is more in a human life than our theories of it allow. Sooner or later something seems to call us onto a particular path. You may remember this "something" as a signal moment in childhood when an urge out of nowhere, a fascination, a peculiar turn of events struck like an annunciation: This is what I must do, this is what I've got to have. This is who I am. If not this vivid or sure, the call may have been more like gentle pushings in the stream in which you drifted unknowingly to a particular spot on the bank. Looking back, you sense that fate had a hand it." - "The Soul's Code" by James Hillman
"One always learns one's mystery at the price of one's innocence." - "Fifth Business" by Robertson Davies
Q: Is my mission just for me, or is it connected with the world around me?
Q: What lesson have I been running from or running to for my entire life?
Q: What do I do that brings me the greatest peace, joy, or satisfaction above all else?
Q: If I could be present at my funeral, what would I want the people present to be saying?
Q: Does it resonate with me and do I refer to it about what choice or decision I make next?
My first teacher said, "Love is the answer to all of your questions."
- Send e-mail to Charles Gruber at email@example.com.