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roles + passion

in a time of falling apart and midwifing a new world, what if we channeled our desperate need to rely on defined roles and positions and trusted ourselves, knowing that we can not help but be called by our passions into right and essential work for the sake of our universe? it is who we are designed to be. It is precisely why we were born.

i’m in community with many folks around questions about the future. yesterday, i was spinning a beautiful yarn with a priest. as we dreamed what was possible when we truly opened to what is and has always already been emerging–there was quite a bit of energy around roles. The role of “priest”, “deacon”, “lay leadership” served both as helpful containers to reimagining the structures and cultures that might cultivate new forms of “church” and they also began to constrain and constrict our imaginations. the priest was struggling with what becomes of “priesthood”. what role might “priest” serve in the future? there was a desperation to the inquiry, offering examples of ways in which priests could add value. a priest could do this…a priest could do that…while assuming what “priest” even means.

i’ve come to know myself as priest, deacon, and lay leader. i’m not ordained by the church. i’ve been ordained by God. i do not necessarily want all these roles–and i’m learning to embrace them as parts of who i am.

and so, as we joined together in heart-felt exploration, i could see so clearly that this friend could not ever not be PRIEST. it didn’t matter what the role was understood to be. he was, in that very moment, acting truly as himself and in so doing, he acting as priest in my felt experience. i refuse the temptation here to put language to what that meant to me in that context…i want to stay with the heart knowing. what has my interest now is not the evolution of these roles but the power that lies within us to know, apart from any external condition. when we follow our passion–as my friend and i were doing in this conversation–the truth of who we are and who we were ordained to be by God, emerges and shines forth despite ourselves.

can we create the conditions within ourselves and our organizations/institutions to pursue our passions? where roles and positions fall away and the truth of who we are–individually, collectively–can shine forth?

i believe we can. i know we can. i know many who are.

i pointed this out to my friend in the midst of our conversation. we do not have to worry about what roles we might play in the future. the question is can we lean inwardly and listen to what Howard Thurman so beautifully names the “sound of the genuine”. it is guiding and showing us the way.

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