Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just One Question

If you live in my neighborhood, you may have seen me out a bit more lately. Our new dog, Goliath, needs lots of exercise so he and Violet get a long walk nearly every night. I love long walks, they give me time to reflect and to listen to music, two things that often go together. As I was walking last night with my iPod on shuffle (I am too lazy for playlists) Joan Osborne's "One of Us" came on. I really like the song though it's theology is a little fuzzy. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the first few lines of the song go like this:

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?

In my combination of walking, reflecting, praying and listening to music, that last line really stuck. If you were faced with God in all His Glory, what would you ask if you had just one question? I played with the thought for the rest of the song and tried out a number of questions. What would you ask?

Here is what I came up with: "What do you want me to do?" I reflected on that for a bit and have been thinking about it ever since. The more I think about it, the more I like it. Now, of course, this doesn't work in every situation. If I meet God at the end of my life, it might be more like, "What's next?" but if I get a chance today to chat with the Almighty, I will stick with "What do you want me to do?"

Part of my theology and rationale behind how I do ministry is this idea that every person is created with a unique set of gifts. When those gifts are used for the glory of God, they bring great joy to the person and bring great goodness to the world. I truly believe that the more people who connect their gifts to the work of God, the more this world resembles the Kingdom of God. This is why we do The Pathway to Discipleship at University. It is a pathway because it leads somewhere. We invite everyone to meet Jesus, hear the message of Jesus and then begin to hear their mission from Jesus - what gifts has God given you and how is He calling you to put them to work in the church, in the community, in the world. In the mission phase of The Pathway to Discipleship, we are asking that one question, "What do you want me to do?" This is a question we can ask now. We don't have to wait until we are standing face to face with our creator. It is just a matter of prayer and discernment.

If you haven't asked the question yet, get connected to the pathway. These questions are often best asked in community where others can listen with you.


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