Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Howard Thurman, philosopher, theologian, educator, author
We read a story the other day of a writer and his wife, in their mid 30’s, with four children under the age of 10 who packed up their belongings, traded their house for a motor home, left the security of their community and families and embarked on a four month cross-country journey to learn about our country and to experience so much of what it has to offer. The family is traveling with a purpose, but not a final certain goal – as to what will await them when their trip comes to an end, Financially they are taking a huge risk, even professionally. It will test their patience, their will and their faith. There are many who may think that their odyssey is somewhat crazy and risky. But we long to see the outcome four months from now when their trip comes to an end.
Their story resonates with us.
For the past few weeks we have had our own uncertain feelings about this journey that we have embarked on. We, too, do not have an end goal or a certain path to follow. We are simply following our own call – to be in the words of Henry David Thoreau … to be who we are. To be people who create an environment in which others will feel safe enough to be who they really are, too. But it’s sometimes a scary proposition for us, especially when our financial security is on the line, with families to support and mortgages to pay. There are those 3:30a.m. moments in which we have both awakened in a cold sweat, wondering how we could do this, worrying about how the bills will be paid, questioning would our following this path ultimately be meaningful and significant? And it’s having a meaningful life, full of significance, that all of us want, isn’t it?
But then there are those other moments when we receive an encouraging email, an affirming response from a potential donor, a word of support from those we have helped in the past, from those whose lives we have touched by our counseling and listening, that remind us that our own leap of faith can be and will be honored. It is those words, those reminders – along with the story of the writer who is following his own call and taking his own risk – and doing exactly what makes him come alive. Which is just what this world needs.
We want to give the world just what it needs too, what makes us come alive. That is – providing a place where the worries and concerns and fears and stories can be shared and given voice so you too can come to know what makes you come alive. And so, that hope and healing and help and wholeness can be found.