Years ago, I ran across this statement from Oswald Chambers – “Soak continually in the one great truth of which you have had a vision; take it to bed with you, sleep with it, rise up in the morning with it. Continually bring your imagination into captivity to it and slowly and surely as the months and years go by, God will make you one of His specialists in that particular truth.” This has directed my life for several decades.

There is always some particular truth that we are captured, fascinated or compelled by – an idea that we want to explore and understand more deeply. A field of study that we truly enjoy and never get bored with. This “particular truth” may also be experienced as the unique way we see or hear – what we are attuned too.

One of the joys that has carried me through the mundane and repetitive aspects of life has been my study of calling – through reading, observation, conversation, reflection and evaluation. I’ve never been paid to study this subject, nor offered a degree. I’ve just been fascinated by this particular truth and have always enjoyed it.

For me, the subject of calling not only possess the quality of “strength of desire”, but also “consistency of desire” (which I write about in It’s Your Call and talk about in the Glory of Your Life CD series). Chambers’ description of “taking it to bed with you, sleeping with it, rising up in the morning with it, continually bringing your imagination into captivity to it” has been my story with the idea of calling.

I had a friend recently ask me what she should do with her passion for “mentoring kids – especially adolescent girls and young women…wanting them to know their true value.” She went on to say, “I want to serve God by serving these young women…I don’t want to invest another moment doing things that are not leading me closer to His call.” I love her clarity and passion.

My suggestion to her was to allow God, in Chamber’s words, “to make [her] one of His specialists in that particular truth.” We need to pursue our great curiosities and desires through study, interaction, experimentation and evaluation. We should immerse our self into “the one great truth of which [we] have had a vision” and not fret over making it our vocation…right now.

We must not allow what we cannot do to interfere with what we can do. We can read, observe, reflect and offer what is on our heart, even if nobody is requesting, endorsing or paying us for it; even if it’s “in our spare time”, “on our own” or “on the side”.

Perhaps this is a time of “mastering” – a skill, an idea, an opportunity, a truth. What would you like to be become a specialist in? What expertise, for the Kingdom, would you like to possess?

Looking forward to becoming more than I am today,

Gary

My friend, Mark Wager, wrote this blog.  I loved it and I think you will also.  You can find his other blogs at Love God, Love People, Live Free.

——————–

I’m reading a book published a few years ago, “What the Dog Saw”, by Malcolm Gladwell.  I love these quirky books about what makes people and society tick.  So, as I’m reading a chapter in this book about “LATE BLOOMERS” it hits me how true this is true for so many of us.  Whether or not you’re a late bloomer I believe you’ll see why I think this is so important for us ALL to know.  Changing our understanding about this could radically change the people around you… and it could radically change how you view yourself.

Let me start by introducing you to a trimmed version of the passage that got me thinking…

From “What the Dog Saw”, Part 3, “Late Bloomers”

… [Mark] Twain fiddled and dispaired and revised and gave up on Huckleberry Finn so many times that the book took him nearly a decade to complete.  [Like Twain and others, ] the * Cezzanne’s of the world bloom late, not as a result of some fault in character, or distractions, or lack of ambition, but because the kind of creativity that proceeds through trial and error, necessarily takes a long time to come to fruition.

. . .

On the road to great achievements, the late bloomer will resemble a failure. While the late bloomer is revising and dispairing and changing course and slashing canvases to ribbons after months or years, what he or she produces will look like the kind of thing produced by the artist who will never bloom at all.

Prodigies are easy. They advertise their genius from the get-go.  Late bloomers are hard. They require forebearance and blind faith.

. . .

Whenever we find a late bloomer, we can’t but wonder, how many others like him or her we have thwarted because we prematurely judged their talents?  [Not everyone’s talents are so quickly recognized.] If you are the type of creative mind that starts without a plan and has to experiment and learn by doing, you need someone to see you through the long and difficult time it takes to see your art reach its true level.  [We need ‘guardians’, ‘protectors’, ‘coaches’, someone to believe in us.  For the late bloomer,] his or her success is highly contingent on the efforts of others.

. . .

Late bloomer’s stories are  invariably, “love stories”. And this may be why we have such difficulty with them. We like to think that mundane matters like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to [keep supporting] what looks like ‘failure’ have nothing to do with something as rareified as genius, but sometimes genius is anything but rareified. Sometimes it’s just a thing that emerges after 20 years of working at your kitchen table.

Can you see why this stirred me so much?  I mean… how many have WE thwarted?.. given up on?… abandoned hope that things will never change… and in our own personal journey, how many times have we thwarted ourselves?… sold ourselves short… given up on our dreams?

And, did you catch the crux?… that we need “someone to see you through…“.  In each story, the book’s author describes the connecting-circle of people in the lives of not-yet-great people made the difference between obscurity and greatness, between boredom and engagement, between drudgery and creativity, between death and life. Do you see it? — Our story requires the interaction… or better yet, theintervention… of others and of God. We all need this. And, better still, we can all BE this to another.

Who are you believing in?  When all seems like ‘failure’, who are you supporting?  To whom are you a ‘guardian’, ‘protector’, ‘coach’, a believer in?

Or, maybe you’ve given up on yourself.  Don’t.  Don’t give in to the belief that this is as good as it gets. You may be just a season away from blooming.  Do something… agree to just take one more step closer.

Learning to believe it’s never too late to bloom!

Mark

Oswald Chambers wrote, “If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many things inevitable as possible, let the consequences be what they will.”

When God puts a desire in our heart (as opposed to the desires of the flesh – Gal. 5:19) we must make it as inevitable as possible.  Scripture says, “For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him.” (Phil. 2:13 ISV)  God gives us desire and ability, but we must act on it.  This is where most of us get mired down, in the acting on it.  We tend to be afraid to move because we don’t want to “get out in front of God” or “make it happen in our own strength” or “God hasn’t shown me what to do yet”.  Yes, this is a real concern, but I think for most of us that this is not our prevailing vulnerability.  I think that we are more susceptible to procrastination, playing it safe, faithlessness.  Paul wrote, “If people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing…Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” (James 2)  I would rather pursue a desire that I believe God has given me and have Him adjust my understanding and course than to live a small life with little risk, reward or relationship.   We must “make as many things inevitable as possible.”

Chamber’s also said that if “you do not let that emotion have its right issue in your life, it will react on a lower level.”  This sheds light on some of the frustration, discouragement, jealousy and anger I’ve wrestled with at times.  So often, when we experience these types of emotions we react by simply telling our self to “stop it” instead of trying to find their headwaters and learning something about our heart.

Denying or ignoring the stirring of God is not a safe thing to do nor does it lead to life.

Pursuing the stirrings of God with you,

Gary