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  • What Do I Do Now?

    WhatDoIDo

    Hello Strangers and Friends,

    If you’ve been following along on the blog over the last year or so, you’ll notice that every month was more-or-less dedicated to an episode of the series. Posts and vlogs were rehashes or deeper dives into the ideas expressed in the series. If you’ve been tracking with them or you’ve just worked your way though the curriculum, you may be left with one large and looming question:

    WHAT DO I DO NOW?

    It’s a good question to ask, no doubt. And I think I have a good answer for you. It’s the same thing I’m working to focus on in my own life now. Are you ready for it? Here it is (scroll down):

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    DON’T DO ANYTHING.

    If you’re anything like me, I’d bet you probably have enough to do already. You have a family (doctor’s appointments, bills to pay, laundry, yard work).  You have your job (meetings, reports, emails, deadlines, quotas). There’s your community functions (soccer games, PTO meetings, volunteering responsibilities, church activities, birthday parties). There’s also the ever growing pile of things to read (devotionals, self-help books, your favorite magazines and blogs…oh, and also JK Rowling’s latest novel). Let’s not forget the movies and TV shows you have yet binge watch (House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Age of Ultron). Clearly, you have enough to do. We all have enough to do.

    And so maybe “What do I do now?” while it’s a noble question, is the wrong question to ask. Maybe the better place to start is in asking “Who am I?”

    Consider Job. All the “doings” of Job–all that was done to him–were summed up with God’s penetrating question, “Where were you…”. In other words, “Job, who are you?” Put another way, “Job, whose are you?”

    Or consider the words of 17th century theologian and poet François Fénelon:

    There was nothing in me that preceded all [God’s] gifts, nothing able to receive them. The first of His gifts on which all the others rest is what I call “myself.” He gave me that self. I owe Him not only all that I have but also all that I am. Oh incomprehensible gift which our poor language expresses in a moment but which the human mind will never arrive at understanding it and all its depth. This God, who has made me, has given me myself to myself. The self I love so much is simply a present of His goodness. Without Him I would not be myself. Without Him I should have neither the self to love nor the love wherewith I love that self, nor the will that loves it, nor the mind that knows it. All is a gift. He who receives the gifts is himself to first gift he receives.

    So, who are you? Right now–right where you sitting–who are you? Are you just a name: Doug, Lydia, David, Sarah? Are you troubled? Are you anxious? Restless? Insecure?

    You are more.

    You ARE a gift. You are an OFFERING from God and to God. You ARE an offering and a gift to the world. You are gift from the one who calls himself “I Am that I Am,” not “I Do that I Do.” Think about what that means!

    Who (and whose) you are shapes what you do and how you do it.

    You. Are. A. Gift.

    Think about it.

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    • Cindy

      What a load of pressure that takes off! Re-gifting without the guilt :)

    • Bill Donaghy

      Thanks Evan! Love it. My wife and I have the tradition of ending each night with the phrase “Goodnight babe, you’re a gift to me.” With the kids now we’ve added “to us!” Brings to mind a favorite thought from a German theologian:

      “From the point of view of the Christian faith, man comes in the profoundest sense to himself not through what he does but through what he accepts. He must wait for the gift of love, and love can only be received as a gift… One must wait for it, let it be given to one. And one cannot become wholly man in any other way than by being loved, by letting oneself be loved… If he declines to let himself be presented with the gift, then he destroys himself.”
      – Pope Benedict XVI

      Blessings on your ministry!
      Bill

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