Living from Big S and W

My personal rhythm flows out of having faced some deep questions over the last several years.

While I think my days as a church pastor, where our church mission statement was to lead everyone to full life development in Christ, caused me to face many purpose type questions, nothing has transformed me like the following battery.

• Who are you? Not as self but as Self?
• Why are you here? What is your Work not work.
• How are you unique? Confluence of all the stuff that makes up you.
• How can you make a dramatic difference? Best contribution.
• Who cares? Do you?

These questions come from a combination of questions asked from a consultant and a professor.

I wonder how often we operate aligned with well thought through answers to these types of questions and how often we are on autopilot doing whatever it is we think we are supposed to be doing…doing the daily grind so to speak.

The problem of course with these questions is a very egoic construction of self if you aren’t careful. If our ego is a container for all of our background, experiences, upbringing, geography, education and vocation, there are good chances that if we aren’t careful we will simply build our lives around a thinness that is self and not a richness rooted in Self. When that happens self tends to do work(s). The richness and depth of Self found in imago dei gravitates toward Work.

My sense is that in my life self and work lead me deeper into ego, whereas Self and Work lead me deeper into the pure sense of Being and I Am-ness placed at my core by the Creator God.

Maybe this is a function of personal maturity, vocational transition, personal pain, stage of life, wisdom, great coaching by those around me, or simply convergence of a number of factors, but my journey the last several years is that Self and Work, when they converge, lead to a deep sense of wholeness and shalom in me that naturally leaks out to others. It seems my life and ministry is deeper and richer these days. I have a sense of deep gratitude because of it.


3 Responses to “Living from Big S and W”

  1. I wish there were a better way to explore this concept without the Self and Work and self and work. (Unless you’ve experienced it, it sounds like double talk.)

    For me, it is easier to think of in terms of who people become when God’s spirit is flowing through them (Self). Not to oversimplify, but I have a stained glass jar that is okay sitting on my dresser, but when I light the flame of the candle inside, it becomes spectacular.

    As for Work…almost everyone has experienced the exhaustion and drudgery of doing work that they aren’t wired to do. Fewer experience that exhilaration of the soul that comes from doing something they truly love. And even fewer still who discover not only what they are uniquely wired to do, but get to feel that sense of mission and purpose on a daily basis.

    I think the real gem of the Self/Work concept is that it is open to everyone. Each of us is a uniquely crafted work. Put the flame inside and we become spectacular. Put us in a place where our “spectacularness” allows others flames to grow brighter and it is magic.

  2. good stuff ron! & i also appreciate cathy’s comments about doing work that we’re not particularly to do. it’s so true that when we’re not in our “sweet spot” things are just that much harder. but what about this…
    i think the balance of work & Work is hard to find when we are doing what we’re wired to do & it’s still hard, difficult & makes us want to quit. because the “daily grind” can easily become just that a grind; something that i don’t think i want to do some-days.
    was also recently challenged [monday morning insight e-mail] about the shift from “doing things right” to “doing right things”. no longer just what seems to the things we should do, but to what really matters.

  3. Ooooooooh! I love that. “Doing things right” vs. “doing right things.” Good stuff.

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