"What are you passionate about? What are you living this life for?" asks Andy, quizzically.
With a twinge of resignation, Andrew replies, “… I don’t quite know anymore. Everything I used to know and believe to be truth, I imagine I’ve put away in a box, high on a dusty shelf. It’s something that I know is there but I avoid looking at. I can’t do it anymore.”
"Well that’s kind of dumb. You should just pick it up, dust it off and figure it out." shouted Andy as he left the room, leaving an air of condescension. Andrew felt a stew of envy, anger and sadness as he watched him leave.
"… I know."
Who am I?
In my 20s, most everyone called me Andy. Spanning my college, early professional and active life, this was a time defined by pursuit, discovery, and passion.
In this exercise, we would like you to use one word to describe your friend to the right after you introduce them to the group.
This is Andy.
Passion is enabled through the discovery of realized personal or felt truths - of any kind, good or bad, right or wrong. Throughout my 20s, I had stumbled upon a number of truths that I began to live by.
… Having compassion for the poor and broken is necessary and essential as human beings and most importantly, as followers of Christ.
… We should be doing all that we can to help developing countries in Africa, South America and Asia.
… Unless you have purpose, you are lost.
… The Church can be the vision and hope of what God’s Kingdom should be.
… Spend your days doing what you love - life is too short to spend everyday miserable.
… There is more to life than making money.
… Anyone can achieve anything with enough will, effort and capability.
… Love is the most important thing in this world.
… God is real.
Now, in my 30s, most everyone calls me Andrew. A new name, and with it, new truths that go in the box.
… Having compassion is easy. Acting on compassion is very, very hard.
… Nothing we do really works in international development.
… Living out purposefully makes me very, very tired.
… The Church is just as broken and slow as the people it is trying to save.
… Most of the world doesn’t have the luxury of choosing what they spend their days doing. They’re working hard just trying to put food on the table.
… Money is a measurable, convenient and easy indicator for success in life.
… I have neither the will, nor the effort, nor the capability, to do this. I don’t have what it takes.
… Love comes with too much pain, too much hardship.
… God is real(?)
So everyday is a struggle between Andy and Andrew, fighting about what’s in that box. To drown out the din of argument, sedatives have become more prevalent - video games, movies and books that involve some post-apocalyptic or dystopian future plot.
In this exercise, we would like you to use one word to describe your friend to the left after you introduce them to the group.
This is Andrew.
I am tired.
The clock says 9 am, Saturday.
"We’re going to be late for Father’s Heart. You’ve got 10 minutes to get ready. I really don’t like being late.”
I feel so tired. Why isn’t eight hours of sleep enough?
"This is important. This is how we practice what we believe and how we want to live our lives, right? We’ve committed so let’s do this."
Has she even seen the box? If she knew what was in it, would she be trying so hard? Where does she get the energy?
"Just get up."
This is the real challenge of life, no? To discover what you believe to be true and then to find the energy to live according to those truths. But in those decisions, come implications and consequences that require commitment, dedication and most likely, sacrifice. If those truths are held paramount to all other things, then trade offs are required. But who’s to make sure I live according to these truths? Who’s to keep me to my word?
When I was alone, it was so easy to fake. I fooled everyone, including myself.
The reality of our lives is that we need people - people who live so deeply integrated into who we are, that they can tell the beauty from the bullshit. And when you can’t tell the difference between beauty and bullshit, they’re the ones willing to sift through the muck and pull out the best.
Dan. Chris. Moses. Grace. Ricky. Annie. Tony. Freda.
There’s another name.
In this exercise, we would like you to use one word to describe your friend you’ve partnered with after you introduce them to the group.
This is Hanna.
"GET UP! By the way, there’s an old box of junk I found the other day by the shelves. I sorted through it while I was cleaning the house. There’s some good stuff in there. Sometime later today can you take a look and figure out what you want to keep and what you want to throw away?
I know it’s hard for you to part from the stuff you’ve collected so if you need help, we can sort through it together.”