Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Future and Self-Actualization

This morning I had a nice discussion with a gentleman from my church about life and christianity and pacifism and living in tension. We also discussed the plans Michelle and I have for the future. I shared about my degree in Finance, my enjoyment of history and philosophy, and my appetite for achievement. I also shared my desire to work at something significant to my savior, not something that would be impressive at my 10 year high school reunion. I shared a lot, but ended up by saying that I haven't got any real practical plans. I have been thinking lately about self-actualization and I am suspicious that it's a myth, or as Solomon would say, a "chasing after the wind" - a waste of time. My culture (or perhaps my pride) has been subtly, but powerfully, telling me that my life's work should involve something significant, impressive, important, and noteworthy. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure that almost every generation before mine has been happy fulfilling the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy (and much more thankful for their fulfillment) - should I really be spending so much time contemplating what it is that I want to do, what will make me feel fulfilled? Or should I just decide to take the life challenges which come to me and are in alignment with Jesus' heart and consider them the will of God? I am leaning in that direction, but that's a scary way to live my life. It's so... out of my hands. I'm afraid - I could wind up with any old measly life. Not a very high view of the sovereignty of God is it?

I'm not very good a letting go - I'm a sucker for control and safety and knowing where I'm going. Which I don't anyway...


raskolnikov said...

Interesting post Jared, its pretty much where I am at... I think that God will work with you where ever you decide to go. BUT Its important to know what you care about... I care about social justice, alleviating suffering, helping the poor etc. so I need to be heading in that direction. What do you really care about? I have some ideas, but you need to think about it before we talk.
As a side note, I am really enjoying seeing you morph and change while you are away from Awaken, God is really working in you and it is cool to see even from a distance.

Jared said...

Thanks for your encouragement - it means a lot to me.

So I've been thinking for like 10 minutes about what I really care about (I think you meant longer - don't worry it's just the beginning). Here's what I've got so far: Something about compassion is brewing - it needs to be consequential or I can't get excited. I think consequential means really important to people. Also, there needs to be a team. I want people to call me on stuff that needs to change, I want people to encourage, people to challenge, smart people to struggle - together - with really hard, consequential problems. And hopefully make a real difference.

Frustratingly abstract. But it's a start.