Friday, July 22, 2011

Moving Thoughts Friday

Every Friday I’m going to ask a question. The questions I choose might be ambiguous on purpose. The goal is to have you answer the question according to your beliefs, where you’re at in life or a circumstance that might have recently impacted you. The only thing I ask is that you provide an explanation for why you answered the way you did.

It’s my hope to understand you better through this and also to gain a greater understanding of humanity and how people make decisions.

Recently Rosslyn Elliott commented on my post, I Am Not Cut out for This.

Here’s what she wrote: A writer friend of mine made a great distinction the other day: "it's not whether you can do it--the question is, on what terms?" The world will always try to push us away from our real calling and our real joy. Sometimes it will do so with "failure." More often, it will do so with "success." We have to be strong and discerning to understand where the world stops and our souls begin.

I kept sifting Rosslyn’s comment in my brain. Profound to the nth degree. What do you glean from her comment?

*photos by flickr


  1. It makes me think of the verse, "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed through the renewing of your mind." We have the mind of Christ, so that's what we're aiming for when transforming.

    I think when we do this, we have a better understanding of what our goals in Christ are and it's harder for the world to sway us other places. Not that it won't try.

    Have a great weekend!:)

  2. I don't necessarily believe that the world pushes us away from our "real calling and our real joy" because i believe that the Universe and all that God has created works FOR us. (my humble opinion). Having said that, i believe that by working for us, it sends us various messages (through success and failure) so that we can learn which of these help us to grow.

  3. Hmm...that is quite a lot to process.
    "The world will always try to push us away from our real calling and our real joy. Sometimes it will do so with "failure." More often, it will do so with 'success.'"

    We often think about our joy being taken away with failure, but not with success. But she's right. Even with "success", it can sometimes not be enough or there are new obstacles that pop up.

    I think her comment wants us writers to keep in perspective why we write and who we're writing for. And also, to step back and look at the big picture and not get hung up on little setbacks.

    Whew, I got chatty this morning!

  4. I read this and my thought was that we need to be true to our calling. My biggest prayer is to be the person I was called to be. And that calling has to endure failures and success, just be true to my self through it all.

  5. WOW! That is an incredible statement! I've faced a lot of people recently that have turned their noses up at my desire to mission, or to travel to Haiti. A lot of things have been said that have made me doubt the path I'm on.

    Rossyln's statement spoke crazy volumes to me! Thanks for sharing that.

  6. Holy crap - no kidding, it's profound. Success. Wow. It really can push us in ways we never intended to go. I'm thinking hard on this one today. Super, super hard.

  7. Oh. My. Goodness. What wisdom in that lady's heart! Thanks for sharing.

    What I glean is this: We need to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for our own life, not listen to those around us, no matter how many "shoulds" they holler.

    If we let them squeeze us into the mold they've designed, we'll settle for 2nd or 10th best, even if we succeed by their standards.

    Seek God's custom made plan for your life and writing. He will guide you in the path that's perfect for you.

    I love these Friday questions!

  8. So, I was here earlier and stymied. Kept thinking about it and had nothing new to say. Back for a third time and I still got nothin'! So you're just a bit too deep for me this Friday morning. LOL!

  9. Ooh, Wendy! Sounds like you and Rosslyn are kindred spirits, inhaling deeply of the world's profound mysteries and boldly delving into them.

    What I take from Rosslyn's statement is that fear of success can indeed rob us of our joy. I was talking with my hubby recently about how I must brace myself for the reactions when my debut novel hits the shelves next year. Yes, I answered my calling and my dream of publication is coming true, but that has brought with it a whole new host of fears. The wise man I married suggested that I ought to focus on enjoying this process and enjoy the fruits of my labors instead of fretting. OK, he didn't use those exact words, but he spoke truth. And I'm doing my best to heed his advice.

  10. I love the discussion, and I'm touched that you've kept this in your heart, Wendy!

    KC, your comment intrigued me. I'm a lover of the natural world, and God's astounding beauty that manifests itself through all his works. And I do believe that in the end, all things will contribute to the good of those who love God. But the Bible is full of references to the 'world' contrasted to the life of the spirit, and in that context, the 'world' is all of the things that humankind has created that are *not* perfect and lovely--and we--not God--are responsible for a culture that contains many things that draw us away from our purpose.

    I'm particularly interested by this because of the almost complete disappearance of the term 'worldliness' in Christian dialogue. It's no accident that the most insidious problem of the Protestant churches has become the one least mentioned. Preachers have to keep their jobs--a perfect example of the conflict between the world and our calling. :-)

  11. She's right -- we can be pushed away from our calling by success or failure. The key, it seems to me, is in keeping hold of your calling. I have to echo Jennifer -- why do we write? Is it for us, for Him, for the masses? Ultimately, it has to be for Him and for whatever He chooses to do wit it.

  12. From my perspective, the world can tempt us with both "success" and "failure", and it is freeing to be authentic and not try too hard to impress others. I definitely agree with the first comment. I'd also like to add that God has formed us a certain way and that we should be true to the person that God has made us. We should be true to God himself, not lured by the voices of worldly opinions or even our confused and conflicted thoughts at times. Enlightening discussion and wonderful blog!

  13. Beautifully true comment.

    We must be in the truth of ourselves as God would us to be.

    He puts things on our hearts for a reason. It's easy to discern - if it's truly good, it's from God. Seems if you have something good, the world wants to steal it away.

    Through it all, we must hold fast our faith. We can lose it all and still have that on our side. Nothing else matters. No one can take it away.

  14. Me'n Lacie are just gonna sit over here on this bench together and ponder awhile. :)

  15. Whew. What a question. I think for me, t's about perseverance. It's easy to get discouraged. I think it's, for me, about that deep down feeling of, I can do this. I can set myself on a track, and if I really believe in something, I can plod on even when life upsets the boat.

  16. Hmmm, "where the world stops and our souls begin." Deep thoughts. I think some things too that the world deems as failure, is really a success when you know the story.

  17. It really is true we can be pushed away from our calling with success. We put pressure on ourselves to keep being successful, but often we use the world's definition of success instead of God's. I think it's a temptation, when you've experienced a certain level of success in the world, to keep pushing the envelope so you can keep what you have, and even surpass it. But when you push the envelope it's easy to lose your footing. This is a great reminder to be careful to keep our treasure in the right place, so we can be good judges of how to live our lives.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking quote, Rosslyn and Wendy!


  18. Wendy:
    We have to decide what the call on our lives is from the world or from God.
    Are we willing to follow God and His leading or do we give into the world and 'settle' for whatever it gives us?

  19. Her comment makes me think that success may be more dangerous than failure.

    I once had a very wise man tell me, "The enemy of great is good." I still believe him.


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