What do you want to see happen? At Messiah? In your community? In your church? In your relationships? What are you hungry for?

These questions reached my inbox last night as I was grading papers, tutoring online, and wishing I could just sit and sew for a while. They came from a college friend, Matt, who is seeking discernment on his life and work. But honestly, I think I’ve never asked myself this question before. I also think that’s kind of sad.

So Matt (and everyone), here’s what I want to see happen. I want to see myself live what I believe – that God is good, that God has a loving hand grasping us, that I am made for a purpose, that I need to slow down and find that purpose, that I need to live that purpose no matter what.

I often think that if we all simply did what we loved – not what we want at a moment but what we were really made to do, the vocation that gives us the most joy and peace – the world would become much more of what it was created to be. I see so many of us striving for things and goals that we have been told are what we should want – the bigger house, the perfect schedule, the publications, the best grade – that we miss knowing what we really want – quiet nights at home, days in the mountains with friends, the chance to make the movie we really believe in, a story that only we can tell. We have been deluded by what we “should” want, and we don’t even know what we “do” want.

In that, is what I want to see happen? I want to see myself and the people around me become more of the people they are made to be. I want to see people live what they love. I want to see people slow down and live life with thought and reflection instead of frenzied motion. I want to live in relationship with people so that we truly know one another and support one another. This is what I want to see happen.

That’s all so abstract, so here’s the concrete details for my own life. I want to work less hours. I want to live on less stuff. I want to spend more time with people. I want to spend more time alone when I’m not working. I want to live a life that is environmentally responsible and that also realizes that the responsible thing may change from minute to minute and from person to person. I want to write and travel and read and listen to great music. I want to become a better friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister. I want to pray more and listen always. These are the things for my life.

I would also like to see the world become a place where people can have conversations that are nuanced and real instead of these black and white, right and wrong discussions that spin us in circles. I would like us to hold each other and our leaders accountable but also give them grace to make mistakes and admit to them. I want us to stop pushing our young people so hard to become something when they already are something – people who God loves right where they are.

In the end, I guess what I want to see happen is for us to be people of compassion – compassion toward ourselves and compassion toward others. Call me an idealist, and I will claim the name.

AmmaAmma – When I first heard of Amma, I thought she was, at best, deluded and that people who would line up for hours to just get a hug from her were deluded, too. Now, I think I would like to live my calling like that. I also think I would love a hug from Amma.