For me this is an excellent question, it gets to the heart of what a search for meaning and purpose is about for me. I think you have to have some idea of the talents, passions and values available to you first – which is can be a big search in and of itself. Then you must be on board with the idea that you should serve. Not everyone is on board with that one. How do I recognize my talents? How do I express my values? How do I know my passions? And, how do I best serve those with whom I share this planet? The other thing I like about this question is that is is very personal. So often I see injustice, hatred, corruption, environmental destruction and I feel overwhelmed. How can I possibly fix all of this? Of course, I can’t. But, given my talents and passions and values I can do something to serve and contribute to making a small part of the injustices better. I know that I have talent in organizing, writing, creating, performing and making space. I know that I value learning, play, collaboration, love and freedom. I know that I am passionate about art, spirituality, rites of passage, women’s issues, and sexuality. Within all of these are concrete ways that I might serve and make the world a little bit better for others. The how might be a challenge or it might not seem like much but if it feeds my soul and helps others then it will be enough. In fact, I can already see many things I’m currently doing and planning that will bring all my talents, values and passions to the service of others. I imagine these as a personal ministry. A ministry that brings women hope in the face of marginalization. A ministry that empowers people to grow in wisdom. A ministry that gives people permission to laugh in the face of fear. A ministry that brings me alive and makes my soul sing as it serves others. It is going to take a long time and a lot of dedication to manifest all of this in my life. I work in a job that, while relatively secure and well-paying – is not my favourite thing to do for seven hours a day five days a week. So, while I work at putting my talents, passions and values to work for the world in my spare time I have to keep this big picture in mind each time I sit down at my desk in my little office. The more I realize my talents, passions and values each day – even if it’s just for a few minutes – the closer I will come to being able to truly serve in the way I want to serve.
What might your personal ministry be? What service are your passions, talents and values leading you towards?
Be Lovely to Each Other,