Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Morning Question: Thursday's Reflection

What are the questions that get you up in the morning?

One afternoon this week my Third Chapter Planning Team from church met here in the garret to review our mission, as well as the recent opportunities for continued growth, inspiration, and fellowship we have offered. This group is not short on ideas, and we filled several flip chart pages with goals and themes and ideas and topics for summer and fall programs.  

By the way, if you are 55 or older you  are in the Third Chapter stage of life.

As we considered future programming, we discussed how the Third Chapter is often a time of major change and transition. Those changes frequently involve loss, including loss of one's identity and purpose. One may no longer have a ready answer for what gets you up in the morning. 

I like the way Adam S. McHugh in his book The Listening Life, Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction phrases the question. 

"What are the questions that get you up in the morning?" 

This addresses one's personal mission and purpose. It inspires  curiosity and encourages new growth. 

McHugh doesn't believe we each are limited to one calling in our lifetime, and he certainly doesn't believe when we have achieved the goals or intention of an earlier calling that we are DONE. The Third Chapter, in fact, can be a time to discover a new calling, to explore new questions.

            We listen for the questions that are far reaching, 
            usually just out of reach, God-oriented but not
            necessarily religious, motivated by love, requiring
            faith, and steeped in hope. ... The right questions 
            sweep you up and take you to new places and new 
            people, moving you forward into risk, compelling
            you to keep going when you encounter obstacles.
                                                        pp 199-200

McHugh's response to his own question is, "How do people change?...I am driven to know how it is that we are transformed from one person to another, deeper and deeper into the image of Christ." 

During a recent morning meditation time, I thought about my own get-up-in-the-morning questions. 
          What can I do to encourage self-discovery, self-
           How can I help others deepen their relationship 
           with the Divine, the Sacred, the Holy?
           How can I lead a life of greater openness and
           awareness of the Holy?  

Living answers to these questions excite me, motivate me, and lead to all sorts of possibilities.          

For much of our adult life, we have probably taken for granted the reason we get up in the morning, and we may even have wished we could extend the night and not have so many demanding reasons to get out of bed. This Third Chapter stage is the time to allow a new question or the reframing of a previous question to enter your life. Perhaps your question is, "What is my new question?" or "Who am I now?" Now that's exciting! 

An Invitation
What are the questions that get you up in the morning? I would love to know. 

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