Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quite a few years ago, I was told by a very well known, well respected person that in my ministry and in my purpose, I would never be a Moses or a Joshua but that I would always be an Aaron or a Caleb.
What do you think my response was?
What would your response have been?
It would be great if you would stop for a sec and think how you would respond to that. Go ahead.

A few years ago, John Stanko in a purpose conference re-told the old parable of the Dubner Maggid (18th century). I want to share it with you:

A man was traveling through the forest. Suddenly, in a clearing he saw a large wall with several dozen arrows stuck in it -- and each arrow was smack-dab in the middle of the bull's-eye. Then he saw the archer in the distance preparing to shoot another arrow. He excitedly ran over him and said, "Sir, I have never seen such amazing accuracy and skill. You have hit the bull's-eye every time! Please tell me your secret. How did you become such a perfect shot?"

"It's quite simple," the archer replied. "First, I shoot the arrow and then I draw a bull's-eye around it."

Nothing kills a church, business, ministry faster than the wrong person in the right job except the right person in the wrong job. Do you know your purpose? Not the "Well, I just want to love God and be kind to animals." kind of purpose, but the kind of purpose that when you're doing it, it pumps you, not exhausts you. It fulfills you, while it expends you. It is, as Mr. Stanko puts it, "the thing you have the strength to do when you are at the very lowest point in your life."
That's your purpose.

If you are "living" in your purpose, but you haven't defined what exactly that is, well, that's like shooting an arrow anywhere and, after hits, drawing a bulls-eye around it.

I love being a Caleb. or an Aaron, for that matter. I would never be able to fully function in my purpose if I were the "Head Honcho". I would be the wrong person in the right job and the right person in the wrong job. And, inevitably, the project would fail AND I would castigate myself unmercifully for letting the Lord down for trying to do something I wasn't created to do.

Isn't that foolish?!?

Why would you do that?!?!

I'll tell you why.

Because someone thought you'd be good to do a certain good thing for a certainly good cause and good luck trying to turn down a good friend with good intentions who has no good idea what your purpose is!

Don't get me wrong; sometimes its a match. You hear about them all the time! A person gets approached by a clergyman to help out with the nursery and in three weeks has 125 volunteers, a fund-raising income of $478,021.00 and has made the cover of Christianity Today.

But that's the problem; they are the only ones we hear about!

We don't hear about the ones that just joined the church and got volunteered into the greeters ministry and have been working the doors at every service, including the 6 weekly youth convention pre-convention and rally conventions held at the church this week and now have carpal tunnel syndrome from shaking more hands than a losing incumbent. They're probably not coming back.

Oh, well. They probably didn't totally give their hearts to the Lord... because if they did, well, you know.

But look all around you and you will realize as I do that we can't afford to lose any more people. So what do we do?

I suggest: the drastic.

Stop the programs, the missions, the outreach and focus on purpose from the bottom up. It'll only be for a season, but you will start with a new chapter, all on the same page. All the determined strokes will make letters, all the letters in their proper place will make words, all the words in their proper order will make ideas, and all ideas, shot like an arrow from the foundational power of each definitive purpose will reveal God's pleasure.

So I looked at her and said, "Well, no wonder I've failed in everything I've been put in charge of!" And I had!

But during that time I found that I wished and longed for someone to be an unyielding, unwavering, support of me. I know, that sounds SO conceited, but in all honesty, I knew that in order for me to succeed, in order for me to be able to carry out my role in that ministry, I so needed that. Someone who was not afraid to be honest, someone who trusted me implicitly, and someone who I knew always wanted and believed the very best before an inkling of the worse. And I feel the VERY SAME TOWARD THEM.

I studied and learned how it affected me when I didn't and did have that reinforcement and knew that if I were able to provide those qualities to someone in my then position, I would be so fulfilled, though it would be hard work. I also learned it would play into another role that I found made me fulfill the purpose definition in my life: the role of Jester.

When I learned how important the roll a jester was in medieval courts compared the role Caleb had in the Joshua's life, I knew I was in the wrong job.

That realization changed everything.


And continues to do so.

And I've never been happier. I'm just waiting for their trust to build.


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