Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Extent: A Few Words on Disclosure

It’s interesting to me to look at how I tell people about my calling. Obviously I talk about it in different ways in different situations according to the intent and the audience. Sometimes it is pretty clear how much I should say and not say, but there are times when I am less certain about the details I should share and how much people really want to hear.

An occasional person wants to know the whole story in its entirety (if you are one of those rare few and haven’t heard yet, feel free to check out part 1 and part 2 of my story, written in early September) and that is fantastic. These people are usually the ones I am very close to, and generally I don’t just spout off the story but rather allow their questions and reactions to shape which details I emphasize and the extent to which I allow my enthusiasm to chine through.

And although I love to tell the story and hear what people say based on that, most people don’t press me quite so far. There are people who find out that I have been called and want to know some details, but not really everything. Just enough to curb their curiosity, which is fine and makes sense.

There are times when I just say that I have been called to youth ministry and that is enough. This happened with my advisor, for example. Usually when I keep it to just a sentence it is because I am telling the person for a specific purpose and a few words works to satisfy that need.

And it is not just the length and number of details regarding my calling that come into question when sharing the story. I also feel as if I need to be cautious regarding the excitement, passion, and enthusiasm I show when explaining my new life plans. Sometimes I can be practically jumping up and down, but most people tend to be a little thrown by that. Generally I can appear confident and animated, but not overly so. Sometimes I have to tone it down a whole lot so I’m not overwhelming someone. It was difficult for me to be nonchalant about it at first (once I actually got to the point where I could start telling people), but now that comes more easily.

I continue to tell new people about my calling as I enter into deeper conversations with friends I don’t see very often and as I meet new people who ask about my future when they find out I am a senior. Still, it can be a struggle to figure out just how to explain this sudden about-face in my life plans. The best I can do is just to be honest about my passion and let them determine what they want to hear.

“The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
-Walt Whitman

Today I turn around
Stop running away from Him.

Today I listen
And run toward.

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