move…purpose will probably reveal itself along the way

Posted: January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

My 4-H leader was also my aunt.  When I was somewhere around my early to middle teens, she suddenly had an idea, out of the blue:  I should participate in competitive public speaking! 

While on one had it was true that, like all other 4-H members, I did at least one talk and one demonstration per year in front of my club, it was also true that I didn’t have any special love for it, nor really any special talent.  Like all the other kids, I got butterflies in my stomach when it was my turn.  I didn’t have any special kind of pzazz or special, natural rapport with the audience.  I mean, I did try to prepare diligently and practice.  I wasn’t sloppy about it.  But I was no rock star. 

Still, I was willing.  If she thought it was a good idea, why not?  I was always up for a new 4-H adventure.  I let her coach me through creating my first competitive demonstration, and we were off!  We had a lot of fun and I held my own among the competitors. 

That little adventure has paid more dividends than a whole lot of things I have tried.  The practice of speaking competitively broke down my fear of audiences.  The coaching and teaching, along with just watching other competitors along the way, gave me a whole arsenal of ways to do it more gracefully.  I am 47 years old and I STILL sometimes want to call my aunt up and thank her one more time for coaxing me into doing it – most recently, it was when my turn came up to speak to our Board of Trustees at work.  Heck, I speak in front of groups at work very regularly, but THE BOARD is a whole other level, you know?  But it was fine!

I thought of all of that this past Sunday as our pastor was urging us not to wait until we *know* what our gifts are, or what ministry we “feel called to.”  Start with serving, he said.  It’s a good place to discover your passion.  He urged us to volunteer in different ministries, reminding us that we might be surprised at what we discover in ourselves along the way. 

He is so right.  While competitive public speaking was not exactly a service or volunteer-type project, I really did start by DOING and discovered so much along the way.  It turns out I LOVE speaking to a crowd.  I totally dig it!  See, I NEVER would have thought up the idea to try it out on my own.  I’m still so grateful to my aunt for pushing me just that little bit. 

Struggling to find your passion and purpose? 

Can’t figure out what you have to offer? 

Are you stationary while you struggle?  Sitting, quietly stuck, waiting for something to make sense? 

Just a suggestion:  TRY SOMETHING.  Even something you don’t think you will like.  ESPECIALLY something you don’t think you will like! 

You just might be pleasantly surprised at what you discover along the way.

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