Tag Archives: purpose

How Many People Live In Your World?

As I was driving to take supper to my friend who is in a nursing home I was listening to The Message on XM Radio.  They played a song called My Own Little World by Matthew West.  Singing along it brought me to reflect on how often my world is underpopulated.  When the news is uncomfortable or disheartening, I will turn it off and I rarely give until it hurts.  Read through the lyrics below, reflect on them and listen for God’s urging as you realize opportunities you have to let others into your world today.

In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I’ve never gone hungry or always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket shoes on my feet
In my own little world
Population me
I try to stay awake through the Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate but I never give ’til it hurts
and I turn off the news when I don’t like what I see
it’s easy to do
when it’spopulation me
What if there’s a bigger picture
what if I’m missing out
What if there’s a greater purpose
I could be living right now
outside my own little world
Stopped at the red light, looked out my window
Outside the car, saw a sign, said “Help this homeless widow”
Just above this sign was the face of a human
I thought to myself, “God, what have I been doing?
“So I rolled down my window and I looked her in the eye
Oh how many times have I just passed her by
I gave her some money then I drove on through
in my own little world there’s
Population two
What if there’s a bigger picture
what if I’m missing out
What if there’s a greater purpose
I could be living right now
outside my own little world
Start breaking my heart for what breaks Yours
give me open hands and open doors
put Your light in my eyes and let me see
that my own little world is not about me

Read more: MATTHEW WEST – MY OWN LITTLE WORLD LYRICS http://www.metrolyrics.com/my-own-little-world-lyrics-matthew-west.html#ixzz1mDXWdU00 
Copied from MetroLyrics.com 

You can listen to this with lyric slides at the following link.

It’s Just A Phase! –

  • Sewing
  • Writing
  • Working out at the gym
  • Playing guitar
  • Playing clarinet
  • Scrapbooking
  • Needlepoint
  • Cross stitch
  • Quilting
  • Horseback riding
  • Birds
  • Cats
  • Geneology
  • Dogs
  • Biking
  • Girl Guides
  • Hiking
  • Camping

This is a partial list of the various phases through which I have gone so far in my life.  I remember my parents asking, when I was getting into something new, if I was really serious or whether it was just a phase?  Somehow in their minds this tied into whether or not it was worth putting money and time into supporting my efforts.  I have, in fact, caught myself thinking the same thing when the kids decided they desperately needed calligraphy pens, collections etc.  I realize that there are some developmental stages that kids go through which parents only survive by telling themselves, “It’s just a phase, it will pass!” but the thing about the things on my list is I was absolutely serious about all of them.  At the time that I was into riding it was all I thought about.  I worked hard to learn all I possibly could about horses and riding and there were hours of sweat and labour involved.  I loved every minute of it, but then it passed.


I am here to talk about the value of the phase.  Much maligned, it is in those periods of intense focus on one activity or another that we gain knowledge, proficiency, sometimes expertise in that area.  Long after the phase has disappeared  from our daytimers, that skill and knowledge remain with us and help to inform our further pursuits.  It is remarkable the connections that come up when you are doing something seemingly unrelated.  Things you did when working with horses turns out to work well with other animals, and or people.

When I have pondered my calling over the years I often gave thought to all those skill sets I have and wondered what path they were pointing to.  There were times when I considered mission as an obvious answer.  In the end, I think that more than anything they have equipped me to make connections with a great variety of people.  I am just as comfortable in a conversation with farmers and college professors, teens and ‘little old ladies.’  It is in this way that I believe I have been prepared to give pastoral care.  I may not be useful in the church kitchen, but I can talk with and coordinate with those who are.

So…here is to the phase, may we enjoy many more of them!

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? Articulating a Calling

One of the things that all people seek is the “right path” for their lives.  My grade twelve students are hitting it head-on right now as they make their plans for future career paths and any related schooling which may be required.  How do you balance what you enjoy with what will pay the bills?  From an early age people ask us what we want to be when we grow up?  And who among us has not at one time or another wondered if our parents had us by accident?  As Christians we have the added dimension of calling.  What is it God has planned for us? For what use were we given our particular talent set?

If you doubt that people are looking for this calling, Google search for Rick Warren.  His book The Purpose Driven Life has been translated into 50 languages and has sold some 25 million copies.  Along with the phenomenal success of his book, Warren has trained 400,000 ministers in his Purpose Driven Church strategy.  The topic of the first 7 of 40 chapters in his book? “What On Earth Am I Here For?”

In my case, I basically fell into my current career.  Early in junior high I planned to grow up to be a minister.  In grade nine I decided I was going to go to Mt. Allison to take music and education.  I wanted to be just like my junior high band teacher.  I did go to Mt. Allison for a university degree in music, but by then I was certain that I would not be teaching school!  I didn’t even like kids!  Twenty-five years after graduating I am looking at retiring from teaching in six or seven years.

Even as I was in the midst of this career I still felt called to ministry.  I began doing pulpit supply work around eight years ago, and five years ago actually applied for a position as university chaplain.  When I did not get that position I took it to mean that, for the time being at least, I was doing what was intended.  That may have been too simplistic a view, but the years since have been some of the most satisfying of my career. 

I feel my life experiences have uniquely prepared me to teach my courses on family and child development (I haven’t taught music in years) and to work to further justice and positive climate in my school.  I also believe that all of this is still preparing me for ministry within the church. 

According to the PCC pamphlet, “Am I being called?” “The primary vocation of all Christians is to be in relationship with God through Christ. We delight in God’s gracious love and respond in praiseand gratitude. As the Shorter Catechism says, “Our chief end is to glorify and enjoy God forever…For most Christians, their primary arena for exercising their vocation is in the world and the exercise of their vocation in the church is in a voluntary capacity.”  Whatever your vocation, may the Spirit of God guide you in your work.

For more about Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life go to rickwarren.com

For more on calling to ministry with Presbyterian Church in Canada check out this link  http://www.presbyterian.ca/files/webfm/ourresources/mcv/Am%20I%20being%20called%20for%20web%20booklet.pdf