It is always a source of profound inspiration to me to see how individuals will conquer all sorts of difficulties and give so much of themselves when they are focussed in on a personal goal. I spoke recently to someone who had gained a degree through the Open University. At the time, he had three children under 11 and was working on the night shift as a printer. He would come home at the end of his shift and start doing his studies. When I feel a moan coming on about my own studies, I remember that inspirational story. In our congregation, we have people who have trained for sporting events, started new careers, started a family or transitioned their gender. All of these things took time, thought and a great deal of effort. The stories are all different, just as rugby and ice-skating take different strengths skills and talents, but the key ingredients of purpose, focus and determination are the same.
There is a brilliant quote from the German poet, Goethe, which concludes with the following: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. The Spiritual Exercises developed by Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, include an examination of our deepest desires, to notice “the interior movements of our hearts, and discern where they are leading us”. This is part of discernment – uncovering what God is doing in our lives now, and in the future. Few of us will ever become Olympic athletes or world class rugby players. However, every single one of us was loved into creation by God, with just as much potential. When our deepest desires match with God’s hopes for us, then all manner of things become possible. This week, notice the things that give you the deepest joy and also what causes stress, or dis-ease. What does that tell you about your deepest desires? And what are you going to do about it?