>>Most people don’t know this, but I have a tattoo on my left shoulder blade. It’s not artistic or beautiful. It is three simple letters – ONE. I put it there when I was much younger as a declaration of clarity – what I recognized at the time, as one of the most important articulations of my life philosophy:
>>everything that exists is a singularity
I believe that! There is one truth. One God. One love. One life. One source. One good. One savior. One hope. One me. One you. Everything in life is unique. That’s one of the reasons that I am passionate about Auxano. We are convinced that every church is unique, and has a purpose that is at once, COSMICALLY significant and LOCALLY specific. There is no duplication, no routine, no repeats, no counterfeits. There is only one. With some conscious thought, this concept reveals itself with stunning clarity, however it’s such a struggle to actually LIVE this way. I wrestled with why it’s so difficult, and my conclusion is that it absolutely terrifies my finite, little mind.
>>my enemy, the calendar
Consider how we mark time as a culture. Each unnamed minute repeats 60 times every hour. Each 7 day cycle repeats 52 anonymous times in a year. This system is practically designed to convince us that life is mundane. Nameless minutes and repetitive hours blur into the same cycle of 7 days. It’s just another Monday, same as last Monday and next Monday. It’s almost Friday, and the weekend. Sometimes the monotony is enough to make you want to bite your own face. For pastors, there’s only Sunday. The other days are just lead-in and recovery…the planning time between Sundays. For 9 to 5’ers, Monday through Friday is just another work week. Part of the struggle is that when each hour and each day is labeled the same over and over, it’s tough to recognize – much less embrace their singularity.
The unlikely truth is that every day, every HOUR is a singularity. How much more precious and important would a year be if every day had it’s own unique name? How much more weight and value do we attach to something that has never occurred before in all of history, and never will again?! Our labels serve well to mark to the passage of time, but effectively blind us to the precious and singular nature of existence.
When I begin to consider that every moment is a unique universal occurrence that has never happened before, and will never arise again – when I consider that each day is unique and carries its own once-in-a-lifetime potential, I get butterflies the size of foxes in my stomach. I could hyperventilate! What do my actions and decisions mean in this context? They can only be made, never taken back, and what I do (or don’t) carries forward in time potentially into eternity. The human mind deals with complexity and significance by assigning labels, by reducing things to oversimplified models. Our nature, as well as our culture accepts and even embraces this simplification as the norm. But my tattoo every once in a while rips that covering away from my mind and reminds me that there is a purpose and clarity to every moment of my life.
So what does this mean? That the unique singularity of the gift of each day will pass by with only marginal, haphazard purpose if I don’t know with stunning clarity what my mission in life is. These unique and priceless days do not stop and wait while I lack purpose. They continue to move through the present and into an irretrievable past at a dizzying pace, lost forever. If I don’t move forward in my life-mission on any given day, I can never recover that lost ground.
Don’t get me wrong, I am going to enjoy life. In fact, when I live in the clarity of my mission – I enjoy life more fully in work, in relationships, and in leisure than at any other time. There is something deeply fulfilling about having a mission that enfolds every portion of a healthy life, giving meaning, focus, and clarity to what seems at times a fragmented and mundane repetition.
If we consider our God as infinite in reach, ability, and understanding then I would posit everything that he creates is a singularity. If he truly is that grand and unending, why should we find it hard to imagine that every single particle in the universe is named and unique to him, that it has a place as part of his larger vision and purpose? I certainly consider my life in those terms – and I strive to embrace every thing in my experience as a singularity with purpose. So answer this below in the comments section:
Can you state the mission of your life?
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