On St. Patrick’s Day, just another Saturday to someone as un-Irish as I am, my sister and I took a road trip. I drove and we covered about 110 miles, round-trip. Our destination beckoned: the Selah Conference at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. As an additional bonus, we’d scheduled a “date” (although calling it such embarrassed my youngest son) with our two sons who are students there. Embarrassing or not, it was a free dinner, so they were in.
I was intrigued by the title of the conference, “Selah.” It’s one of those Bible words that pops up which isn’t really English and doesn’t get used or defined from the pulpit very often.
The theme for the day was “Getting Unstuck” which brings plenty of interesting moments to the forefront of my mind. I’m sure being high-centered on a rock after turning too early into my mom’s driveway is one I’d rather not revisit too often. My husband and sons still use it as proof that I’m not a very good driver, even though I haven’t had a moving violation since 1988. Feel free to browse this link (http://www.georgefox.edu/selah/index.html) to get a better idea of what my sister and I were anticipating for the day.
Everyone has influence or should I say a circle of influence. Some people seem much more influential (President Obama and Stephen King, for example) than I would ever consider myself to be, or even want to be. We were invited by Elisa Morgan, whose enthusiasm and energy enlivened the stage, to connect the dots.
First of all, we have our own dots. Then the Master Artist adds His dots, making the jumble appear to be the most gigantic and confusing dot-to-dot puzzle in the universe. Of course, we’re only expected to connect dot 1 to dot 2, or dot 12 to dot 13, not to understand the final outcome of the drawing.
Doing What I Can
Ms. Morgan has a new book, She Did What She Could, which she used an illustration to expound on Mark chapter 14. It was a new look at a familiar story. What it did was make me realize that most of the time the reason I get “stuck” is because I have outlandish expectations for myself. Apparently, this is a common occurrence.
Jesus complemented Mary (in Mark 14:6-9) on doing what she could. He defended her against those who accused her of being wasteful and inconsiderate. In her moment, Mary took her gift (spikenard ointment, a costly perfume) and offered it to Jesus in acknowledgement of who He was and how she felt about Him.
Is there an application in my life? Certainly, and it begins with identifying my own available gifts and offering them to Jesus. This is a tad frightening. After all, someone is sure to jeer or accuse or condemn me.
I Have a Purpose?
The most productive part of the conference happened on Sunday. After experiencing a session at the conference on creating a purpose statement to guide my life, I sat at my kitchen counter carefully filling in the sections from Cathy Roberts, presenter at the session.
My first final result seems high and mighty, and utterly unattainable. Perhaps, upon revision it will finally merit mention in this forum. Or, maybe it will remain my secret for a lifetime. After all, if I share my purpose, someone might decide I should be held accountable to actually fulfill said purpose. Sounds like too much pressure…at least for now.