The 345 Series
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
What is the 345 Series I hear you ask? It is a series of blog posts that I am starting from today the 19th May, 2020. It will be related to our Calling for the most part, but I will also include the topics of Worldviews and Masculinity. Today, I am going to introduce 3 Navigational Points to help us be more Alert and Oriented to our Calling.
When we drive somewhere that we have not been to before, it is helpful to have Navigational tools to help us to reach our destination. This could be a Sat Nav or GPS if you're American, or a map. This helps us to know what main motorways to head for and what signs to look out for. Take junction 21 off the M25 to join the M40 for example. In the same way, there are 3 points of Navigation to facilitate us in the pursuit of our Calling. These are Story, Desires and Journey.
How well do we really know our story? We may know some major parts of our story, but have you ever had someone who truly and deeply listened to your story? A good listener will know how to ask penetrating and hard questions, and provide some insights to our story that will bring new revelation that we need in order to better understand our story. These kinds of listeners are quite rare, but if you can find one, they will help us to see not only the affect we have on others but also how we interact with others as well.
We can all have a tendency to misinterpret other people, and the main reason is because we don't know their story. So we jump to conclusions about others based on their behaviour, because that is all we have to go on. The most crucial perspective we need on our own story is to have the heart of God on our story.
Cruise ship or Battle ship?
The story we believe we are living in determines how we respond to what is going on around us. Gary Barkalow of The Noble Heart Ministry has a very powerful metaphor to help us understand our place and what story we are living in. He paints the picture of a 'Cruise ship' versus a 'Battle ship'.
Cruise ship: Cruising through life.
People who see life through the lens of being on a Cruise ship believe they are entitled to a vast array of comforts and conveniences. They expect the food to be exceptional, their needs to be catered to and the overall experience to be very pleasant. When the food is not the way they expect it to be, they whine and complain. 'This isn't what I paid for'. Or when the entertainment is not to their liking, or the activities are not what they were hoping for, they demand or expect changes to be made. This is a 'rights' oriented perspective. 'I have paid for this, so I better get what I want'.
Battle ship: Hardship is our training ground.
'Eventually, a man (or a woman) must come to realise that there are certain things in life worth fighting for' (John Eldredge The Way of the Wild Heart p137 parenthesis mine) Those who interpret their life as like being on a battleship have a completely different perspective. They expect difficulty. They expect hardship. They expect food and conditionis to be adequate but they do not demand them to be exceptional. Their purpose for being on the ship is not self gratification or even their personal pleasure. No, their purpose for being on the ship is the mission-to fight for freedom from the oppressor.
On a battleship they expect to serve not to be served. They expect to take orders not give them and they are not demanding or settling for a life of comfort and convenience. Rather they are choosing courage, character, commitment and conviction. Those who respond to the call to serve on a battleship do not have a 'rights oriented' perspective. They have a 'responsibility oriented' perspective. They have settled it in their heart and soul, to lay their lives down for the greater good.
The Western Church
So many in the Western version of the Christian faith have assimilated the culture's view of the 'good life', that life is supposed to be a Cruise ship. We have all to a lesser or greater degree yielded to the 'self-made man' mindset that I can do whatever I want to get the materialistic 'good life'. At root, it is a form of humanism. However, soldiers of the Cross of Jesus Christ who walk the Narrow way take their place on the battleship in God's Bigger Story .