Left or Right by David Harward
This year, instead of setting myself up for disappointment by making new year’s resolutions, I am identifying areas of focus. Using a set of daily questions, I want to nurture the intentional use of my time and energy that doesn’t set limits on what I will accomplish or get attached to the results.
The tag cloud in the right column shows three sky view areas of life focus: #open, #connected, and #whole. These ideas continue to orient my own life work, my writing, and my ministry. These provide a structure I use for fully dimensional living.
The first major area is that of being open.
I want to remain open to all the possibilities the Creator has in store for me and for our world. To do that, the world has to remain full of possibility and promise. Without that, there is no point in looking up and around.
So where do I see myself closing my life down? Where do I find myself stuck and frustrated? Where do I need to choose God’s openness?
My first area of focus is in maintaining an attitude of Exploration.
I close down when I decide to be content with what I already know, or with what I think I know. This usually happens when I settle for answers. Answers are great until we let them be show stoppers. When we cease exploring because we have the treasure we seek, we become locked in. We trade the freedom of curiosity for the security of the answer. We stop exploring life. Sadly, much of our education emphasizes the accumulation of answers that can be spit out at the proper time. They can be memorized without really understanding or experiencing.
An explorer is never content with an answer. Answers will be found, but as stepping stones for more questions. And freedom is found in seeking the questions.
I want to keep looking for new things every day. I want to learn more about the eternal Essence of the Universe, the fathomless intricacies of the human being, and experience the wonders of creation. I want to keep the questions open.
What new thing can I explore today?
Another open area of focus is Generosity.
It is easy for me to want to hold tight to what I have and so I hold back what I know. After all, this mortal existence is defined by its limitations and scarcities. So I would be completely justified to not share what I have gathered for myself. I deserve that, right?
The problem is that a non-generous life is a closed off life.
What if my ideas and skills were are given to me by the Essence of the Universe as a stewardship to share with others around me. Then in my choosing to hold tightly to “my” stuff I betray that greater purpose: my deeper why for living.
Openness in receiving needs to be balanced by an openness to share. I need to spend my energy finding ways to spread the light. This is done with enthusiasm and generosity because the Source is eternal and extraordinary.
What can I give away today with freedom, gratitude, and compassion?
The third specific focus in the area of openness is partnership.
I confess that I am very comfortable doing stuff on my own. I have this idea that I can be pretty self-sufficient. If I don’t know something, I can either learn how to do it or get by without it. While I enjoy learning to do many things in my life, the idea that I can do everything I need to do alone is wrong.
This is a hard lesson for me, a natural individualist, to learn. I need to practice living, serving, and ministering in partnership with others. I need to join with people who have complimentary gifts and strengths to mine. Together we are able to do more than any of us can do alone.
Who can I partner with today in doing what needs to be done?
Where do you find yourself closing doors and putting up walls? How can you move more openly into God’s freedom, wisdom, and community?
Share in the comments.
My thoughts on areas of focus related to being Connected and Whole are coming next week.