It’s a 12 hour drive from my current home in the Midwest to my former home on the East Coast and I decided to listen to two books on my most recent trip there and back – mostly for their sociological insights on women. They reflect what two differently successful women have learned.
[Note: I am sorrowfully obsessed with Sheryl Sandberg these days. And I am not much of a Lena Dunham fan. Self-absorption = ugh. But I’d like to understand her.]
One of the joys of my life is talking with women of all ages about their calling. Family, friends, colleagues, seminarians.
I believe that we are called – not to a particular thing necessarily as in “God is calling me to buy this specific red car” – but to a general way of abundant life that feeds us spiritually so that we might make a positive impact in the world. God’s will is not always particular. Sometimes yes (e.g. God: “This is definitely your next job!“) Sometimes no. (e.g. God: “Really, you’ll be fine either way.”)
Discerning our journey in life is ceaselessly interesting to me.
- How do I decide between Q & Z?
- Am I making the biggest mistake of my life if I do X?
- Will I ruin my professional life if I just drop out and go to South America for a few years?
- Should I marry someone whose work will require us to live in a place where I don’t particularly want to live?
- Will I regret it forever if I don’t grab this opportunity to live on the Space Station?
- Is it professional suicide to move back home or have a baby or take a year long internship in Mozambique?
Sometimes our decisions feel this dramatic.
What helps make sound decisions and – after those decisions are made – what helps us glean the most from our experiences? Generally speaking, it seems that there are some common threads that keep us engaged and moving forward:
- Be curious.
- Accept the positives.
- Don’t allow life to “happen to you.” (Enough of life is random as it is. But here are proactive choices we can make.)
- Help others on their own journey.
- Stop confusing transactional for relational.
More about these threads this week.
PS Here is a lovely tribute to Sheryl Sandberg’s husband Dave Goldberg.