All my life, I’ve been curious. My mother tells a story from my early childhood, when she had just put me to bed – a major feat, since I didn’t sleep through the night until I was six years old! She was sneaking out of the room, when suddenly I bolted straight up in bed and asked: “Why do our eyeballs need to be wet?”
I’ve always asked a lot of questions, and I’ve learned a ton. Yet I’ve often allowed my own impatience to keep me from putting my knowledge to concrete use. At times, it’s seemed easier to theorize than to dig into the tedious details of application. In the face of complexity and frustration, it’s tempting to retreat to the activities that I find most natural. A life of continual growth and improvement can be exhausting.
But this challenging way of discovery is worth it. My life exists to show love to others. God has placed me on this earth to serve the people around me. That means blazing some trails, taking risks, and moving outside of my comfort zone. It means taking a long, hard look at my own low tolerance for frustration. If I’m going to be the kind of change-maker this world needs, I’d better get used to tension and ambiguity.
My friend Justin Jacoby Smith recently said that it’s “oddly liberating when you realize that you don’t have the things you need because it’s your job to create them.” While I know that he was speaking specifically in the context of the work he’s doing with Democracy Spring, Justin’s experience applies to so many areas where we’re being invited to grow. One way that we can show love for others is by forging a path. We create space so that those around us can explore their dreams and fulfill their God-given purpose.
As a leader with Democracy Spring, Justin is building the tools to help spark a mass-movement for democracy in the United States. As part of the Friends of Jesus Fellowship, I’m helping to create space where a fresh spiritual awakening can take place, powering a radical community that defies the logic of empire. We are each creating according to the call and gifts that God has given us. And together we are establishing an environment where everyone can share their gifts and create a new order of compassion and justice.
This beats the superficial contentment of an easy life, any day. When our focus is love for others, why would we ever want to sit on the couch and just coast? It’s so much more fun to be a maker!
What are you making? What are the gifts and sense of calling that God has placed in your life? What are the weaknesses, frustrations, and doubts that you’ll need to face in order to unlock your contribution? What is missing from the world that you’re called to create?