Saturday, July 12, 2014

Coming Alive - The results are transforming and contagious

In the movie Chef, when Chef Carl Casper suddenly quits his job after refusing to compromise his creative integrity, he finds himself lost and as he allows or rather surrenders to the advise of his ex-wife, he goes back to his roots re-igniting his passion. In the movie we witness not only his transformation, his "coming alive", but how all of his relationships are set ablaze with joy and wonder -- exploding in a new zest for life and love.

One of the most dramatic "coming alive" true stories is that of Helen Keller.  This clip (see link below) from The Miracle Worker and the excerpt from her autobiography, Helen Keller: The Story of My Life illustrate the connection between simply a word learned only by rote and when suddenly one's eyes are opened to the much larger meaning the symbol represents - one is opened up to the thing itself... Where the Word Comes Alive.

Check out Helen Keller's awesome story HERE.

Watching someone "come alive," like in the movie Chef or reading Keller's words or viewing the dramatization in The Miracle Worker is at one level motivating as we witness the transforming power generated by someone's coming alive. And yet the effect is not limited to one coming alive, but to all others who are touched by this person. 

A favorite quote of mine is by Howard Thurman 

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. 
[This quote is in Gil Bailie's Violence Unveiled, p. xv, where he attributes the quotation to a conversation he had with Thurman.]

In spiritual direction a primary emphasis is placed on overcoming roadblocks that may hinder coming alive.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tell me what God is like cause I'm starting to forget.

A story I heard at a spiritual retreat seems a good fit here: 

A young mom and dad recall the events immediately following the birth of their second child. At the time, the couple already had a three-year-old son. As soon as the newborn was brought home from the hospital, the three-year-old son asked to hold the smaller child. But when the infant was put into his arms, the boy would ask that he be left ALONE with the baby. Understandably, the parents were unsettled and didn't think this was a good idea.

Anyway, a few months went by and still the three-year-old insisted that he wanted to be alone with the baby. The parents put it off as long as they could, hoping that the older kid would forget, but his demands just got more and more persistent. Finally, they agreed to leave the two very young children in a room alone for a few minutes. Standing just outside the room, they listened and this is what they heard their three-year-old son say:

"Tell me what God is like, 'cause I'm starting to forget."