I’ve been on a journey of fine-tuning my life. I’m trying to create something beautiful. Our lives, after all, are something to be stewarded and stewarded well. It is the only real thing with which we have been entrusted. Our lives. My life. Your life.

My life belongs to me and not another in any way. Your life belongs to you the same. It is what we have been given and what has been entrusted to us.

I’m seeing afresh that the core of this life is within me. That the outer circumstances shift and come and go and change over time in little or big degrees.

What is constant is my internal self. Yours too, of course.

Our internal self may be described as our inner garden. A walled city of our own making. A nurtured repose. An active outflow and up-growth of life.

But not everything is of our own making. Much is given us and determined beforehand. We come with wiring that is unique to us; you and I are not like any other person on the planet.

And so, in order to grow the garden called ‘self’ we must know the forces at work, the soil at hand, the natural predispositions of personality and manner, and the basic hardware of how our minds work and the emotional set-points buried within our psyche’s.

Personally I am engaged in an international work of broadening conversations within the body of Christ wherever I may be invited and wherever the Lord may direct me.

Now, simply put, this means, I am a travelling preacher and teacher. I am invited to churches and conferences. I bring principles of inner healing, of spiritual and personal renewal, and of leadership development.

In the context of this work there are parts of it that I love and that work well for my personality: the gathering with folks simply, welcomes to teach and share what I have learned over the years, meeting new people, visiting and fellowship in many homes, and seeing the beauty of creation in many areas globally. These things I love.

The parts that do not work well with my personality: extravagant welcomes with much ta-da and speeches and presentations and pictures, different locations crowded onto each other in single days, crusades with loudspeakers at my ears and people shouting (into microphones) for hours, being a conference speaker to simply draw crowds, these things are difficult to swallow.

I share this to say that I’m looking at the work and seeing what parts I can do and what parts I cannot do. Which things work for me and which things do not work for me. I’m parsing through the pieces. Instead of assuming it’s all a package deal and I have no say, I’m re-discovering my say.

The responsibility to steward our own lives require that we are sober-minded about what works and what does not work. And, that we make decisions based on such and that we communicate such to those with whom we partner.

Writing this I realize this is common-sense. Why have I been so struck by this once more! Don’t we all know who we are and what we can or cannot do? Maybe. Yes at some times. Not so well at other times.

What comes to mind is this: the real beauty of a life comes in the editing.

Gardening is not so much about planting beautiful plants as it is ensuring the weeds are not allowed to remain; removing what does not work from the garden is the largest portion of gardening.

Writing too, for instance, is not about words put on paper so much as the words removed in order to make plain what is to be said; once I’m removing entire sentences and paragraphs I KNOW I’ve nearly completed a writing project!

It’s a very exciting and scary thing to be ruthlessly removing what doesn’t belong or make sense.

Thus, our lives are the same. What isn’t working anymore? What might not make sense for the season to come? Where are shifts needed in order to be best effective, best rested, with best wisdoms and nurture around all the days so that life is just the right amount of full?

Let’s figure out ourselves a little more this year. It’s not about good or bad or right or wrong. It’s about what is working and what is not. What enables us to carry forward and what brings us low, perhaps too low to carry on as we are meant to do. It’s about joy and peace in balance with struggle and challenge.

Life has been entrusted to you and to me. Wow. What a gift. Let’s take care of it.

 

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