A common theme in our society is that of being tired. We are thinly stretched between work, family and social obligations. As a result it is not uncommon to hear people say “I need a vacation” or “I can’t wait until Friday”. Everyone appears to be working towards a place of rest. The problem is that the promised rest rarely materializes. That is why you hear people saying “where did the weekend go” or “Wow! I need a vacation to recover from my vacation”. This subtly goes on year after year until a person wakes up to find that their children are adults, their prime has passed and they have not accomplished the things that truly matter.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you consist of three parts.
1.) the guide.
2.) the talent.
3.) the transportation.
The guide is the fountain, deep inside, from which the things that truly matter spring forth. The talent is your abilities, emotions and feelings. The transportation is a vehicle that the guide and talent ride around in.
Our lives appear to be dominated by the talent. Talents dictate where we spend the majority of our time. If you have a talent (naturally gifted, attended school for it, etc) you will logically seek to use it. Talent can be a harsh task master as it is never satisfied. It is what causes the entrepreneur to work 12-16 hour days 7 days a week or the family man or woman to have a job that leaves the children without parental engagement. Talent partners with an outside force, called money, and becomes an almost unstoppable force. Without proper guidance talent robs us of our fulfillment in life, peace in our homes and finally our relationships.
Second only to talents, we find transportation. Our society is all about the outward appearance and transportation is the display in which we showcase our talents, like a 16 year old in a new car. The multi-billion dollar marketing business is testament to the influence that “transportation” has. The transportation side of us simply needs to see something appealing and it will go after it to the detriment, even destruction, of ourselves and those around us.
Finally there is the guide. This part of us is sparked early in life, however, it’s voice is quickly drowned by that of talent and transportation. The guide is persistent throughout our life but it does not have a loud voice and it often sounds insane to the dominant and logical talent side. As a result it is ignored until the end of our lives. As we are faced with mortality, the destructive side of talent and transportation become more obvious and the quiet, consistent voice of the guide can be heard more easily. Sadly it only makes us regret that we had not listened to it earlier and harnessed the power of our talent and transportation to facilitate the goals of the guide.
I believe these three divisions are accounted for in the Bible. In that context they are called soul (talent), body (transportation) and spirit (guide). We are repeatedly warned to not allow the soul and body to guide our decisions. We are to allow God, who is spirit, to connect with our spirit and thereby guide us in our lives. The part of us that is spirit (guide) needs to be intimately connected to God and direct the soul (talent) and body (transportation) to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.
We have the chain of command backwards. We allow our talents and desires to direct our lives. This is not an issue that is relegated to the non-Christian world. Christian leaders flock to the latest business models and books in an effort to strengthen their “talent” of leadership. They make sure that their buildings and staff (transportation) are second to none while neglecting the guide that is quietly, consistently asking to be heard. Since actions speak louder than words, the church attendees pick up this characteristic, in spite of the words being spoken to the contrary.
This results in 90% of what occurs in a Christian’s life, or at a church, to happen without God’s direct involvement. This is immediately obvious to anyone outside of the Christian world, but is sadly missed by the Christian. Like an alcoholic stubbornly refusing to admit that he has a problem, the Christian goes on to live the life that is described in the first paragraph of this post. They live to get to the next church service, conference or event and are slowly being drained by the harsh task masters of talent and transportation, although they only know it as a job or “just life”.
It is not too late. Stop the exhausting demands of your talents and focus on connecting your spirit with God’s. Many of you know what God wants from you but the logic of your talent side has told you that it is not the right time or it sounds crazy or what will people think. You may be so busy being strong (talents, transportation) that you have forgotten that in your weakness God is shown strong.