Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Human Spirit

Ever feel like you’re not living up to your full potential? Know there is something else in your life that is drawing you in? Well take a number and wait in line. Is there such a thing as pure fulfillment? I think it is a side stitch we try so badly to ignore. As humans, we aspire to be something better, finding new talents, abilities, and strengths. We KNOW we are not being utilized to our full potential. Only we just keep thinking tomorrow will bring some new found revelation that we must finally use these gifts and claim our mark on this earth. We have all been raised to believe these innate feelings are called “entrepreneurialism”. Bullshit. In this age of capitalism and dog-eat-dog battles over being the newest and most desirable “item” du jour only to make a few bucks, we have lost sight of the true human spirit. I find myself drawn to those who seem to find peace and virtue using those traits for the greater good. The greater good is not necessarily being a martyr for a particular cause. It’s simply letting the human spirit reign over your actions. Believe me, this is no sermon, for I am the last person who should lecture or preach. But what I do understand clearly, this life is about more than just you and I. It’s about all of us.

David Freeman is a fellow thirtysomething. He will tell you tête-à-tête he exudes a certain amount of pretension in his life. He will tell you he has the snobbish tendencies of a sheltered suburbanite. He will tell you he is compelled by his Type-A personality to be the center of attention. Curiously, I have no problem with any of those characteristics. Not because he happens to be the Executive Pastor at the First United Methodist Church we attend, but because he is human. No, no, don’t think I’m turning right-wing evangelical here (1-20-09!)…I truly feel admiration for this man who does for others that which would not be done by the common man. I have only known David for a couple of years and in that time I have come to one very simple conclusion. He does what he does, not because it was a calling, but because he wants to and because he chooses to utilize his entrepreneurial spirit. Although I am sure he felt the calling of the ministry, his character predetermined him to become a person to best fill the shoes of a champion of the cause, where cause has many meanings. It takes an un-Godly (pardon the pun) amount of character to stand before a congregation and speak the ugly truth about the ills of the world and gently (oh so gently) compel the flock before him to think outside of their wealthy bubble. Never does he speak harshly, never does he condemn. He instills compassion and virtue in a world full of very little with a sugarless coating. Even I was compelled to succumb to the calling and spend a week in Mexico this October for an adult mission trip. Unfortunately, this will be the second year in a row I have been unable to partake. My “meaningless consumer driven life” has prevailed due to conflicting work schedules.

Those who know me know that I am far from spiritual and “religious”, which adds a bit of irony to this post. I’m not trying to pretend I have some overwhelming need to spread the "good news"; I’m just another dude with a healthy dose of the human spirit. We all have needs. We all have wants. We all have regrets. And yes, we all have the drive for fulfillment. It’s just that we sometimes forget it’s about more than just us. Luckily, David is there, not to remind us, but to show us. I think about that every day. Someday I may actually do something about it.

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