I said I'd post a little more about the "boiling down" process by which we were encouraged, during last week's training, to arrive at a personal vision and mission statement - both things I've tended to view with some suspicion as bits of corporate-speak that were best left well alone.
That, however, was before last Tuesday.
As Claire said,
"If you don't fully understand who you are and what you are for, how on earth are you going to help others to meet the real you?".
It's so horribly easy to spend your days racing around like a gerbil on speed...It's easy enough to do that even if you believe that you are in the right place, doing the the things that God has called you to do...but if you've never spent time really considering that calling and whether or not you are being faithful to it, this becomes an even more likely outcome.
So, inspired by the day and knowing I need something to keep me on task with this in the interests of ending up as a round peg in a round hole, I came home with 3D's recommended text The Path and am working my way through some of its exercises en route to arriving at my personal mission statement (with luck, before I actually need it).
I've been invited to consider which of the 4 elements (earth, air, fire, water) I might be and to come up with at least 12 adjectives to describe myself as that element...
I've been asked to consider whose dream, whose life I am living...how much the Kathryn of today matches the dreams of my parents for themselves, or for their daughter...and I've been playing with words.
Playing with words?
Sounds fun for someone as loquacious as I am - but just wait till you are confronted with 10 lists of 30 words, from each of which to choose 3 that most excite you...and then, from your own resulting short-list of 30 just 3 that are your key-words around which your mission statement will be built.
Here are my hard-won 30. It was interesting that there were words on the initial list that left me so cold I was reaching for a jumper - but all of these make me smile inside, produce an "ahhhh, yes" response which proclaims them very close to the heart of my personal calling.
affirm - appreciate - celebrate - connect - counsel - create - enthuse - envision -
foster - dream - embrace - delight - reflect - relate - resonate - yearn - thirst-
write - play - praise - pray - heal- inspire - host - share - smile - serve - love -
open - nurture
The trouble is that all of them do feel very close to my heart...
I want to love and nurture, but also to celebrate. I want to embrace and affirm but also to play. To dream, delight and share. To choose just 3 - three - as pegs on which to hang some sort of expression of my personal vocation leaves me floundering. Which, of course, is precisely what this process is designed to prevent.
I think I've a bit more work to do here, as the personal discernment rumbles on.