Monday, June 18, 2012

YOU HAVE A TELOS


#4 of 10 ways to reveal your heart of faith when faith feels like little more than a leftover

Compressed for Twitter:

#4 There is a telos. That is, purpose, intention, trajectory in one's life. Discover what you can of it and sync up.

Decompressed for context and comment:

There is a trajectory in our thoughts and actions (or inaction).  It’s relatively easy to trace where our thinking, choices, and behaviors within ourselves, in our relationships and through systems are headed—both in the short term and long run.  Unless the arc is interrupted, it’s predictable.  At one level, we can determine this.  At another level, it draws us beyond the limits of our thinking and acting.

What are we intended to be and become, learn and discover, do and accomplish, serve and celebrate?  How are we cooperating with that—fueling our capacities, developing our gifts, cultivating our relationships, reaching for our horizons? Or, in what ways do we intentionally or unintentionally sabotage our telos?

When faith feels like little more than a leftover, the reminder that each of us was and is intended for transcendent purposes raises our sights and reframes the horizon.  Even if we have become sidetracked, disoriented, seduced, waylaid, or depressed, we can recover and move toward wholeness and completeness in the simple faith that grace deeply desires this for us.

Perhaps your telos includes helping another person or others recognize and move toward realizing their telos.  You can be renewed in your faith and find your spiritual stride as you choose to help others.  Dare to engage in the act of freely serving others or a just cause through the unique combination of capacities, gifts, relationships and opportunities you have been given.  See what happens.



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Read all 10 actions (in Twitter's 140-character format) that can reveal your heart of faith when faith feels like little more than a leftover.

I will continue posting comments on all 10 actions over the next few days.

Your responses and comments are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. A few notes:

    1. At one level, this seems close to "cause and effect." If I examine what I am thinking and doing right now, it seems to me that it's relatively easy to project the impact of my thinking and actions out into the distance. It's a bit like the law of the farm, or sowing and reaping, "you are what you eat," etc. This is in the realm of what WE intend, what WE choose, what WE determine to do--either individually or collectively.

    2. At another level, telos is connected to what it means to be human and created in the image of God. There are common things among us all as human beings that we are capable of, that we can be and do, that we SHOULD be and do. This tends to be overlooked in preference for investing energy and effort in trying to discern what is uniquely my personal telos. I think that's a mistake. What we share in common as possibility and intention in being human and created in the image of God deserves due consideration and celebration. Unless we do, there things we SHOULD become and do together that will not be realized.

    3. At yet another level, telos is connected to who each of is uniquely and what we are uniquely and individually intended to be and do. This is the most difficult for us to personally discern. This applies to areas of meaning and calling and vocation and avocation. Others can help us discover something of our personal telos. In fact, it seems to me that who we are and what we do is most effectively discerned in terms of relationship with others and the world.

    4. In Christian terms, we often couch this discussion in terms of "finding God's will." To me, so much of "God's will," in terms of what we are intended to be and do, is so clear and common in the Scriptures that I will spend all my life moving toward and with and in that way. So much of it is obvious. So much of it is a common invitation and a common response. I don't need to have a personal revelation to be "called" or fulfill God's will. "This is the way, walk in it." There is clear calling for us all and a clear trajectory if we respond to it.

    5. Sin is the sabotage of what we were or are intended to be, become or do. It undercuts, distorts, derails, etc. the general/common intention of human life and community and/or one's unique and individual response to life and relationships. I haven't really brought the aspect of sabotage into the discussion of these 10 actions, but it's the ever-present reality that challenges not only our common and individual telos but every step of faith.

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