Motivate and Inspire (reflections on writing a personal mission statement)

220px-Leonid_Pasternak_001Several weeks ago, I asked one of my Bible study groups to consider writing down a personal mission statement. Jesus had a mission statement – it’s found in the Book of Isaiah and it goes like this:

The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his Spirit. He has chosen me and sent me to bring good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to announce release to captives and freedom to those in prison. He has sent me to proclaim that the time has come when the Lord will save his people and defeat their enemies. He has sent me to comfort all who mourn, to give to those who mourn in Zion joy and gladness instead of grief, a song of praise instead of sorrow. They will be like trees that the Lord himself has planted. They will all do what is right, and God will be praised for what he has done.” (Isaiah 61:1-3 GNB)

When I sat down that week to write my own mission statement, a phrase popped into my head… I remembered preparing my very first, post-college resume – and at the time, a resume was supposed to begin with a one sentence objective – basically, a statement that summed up your goal in life.

A big assignment! I didn’t really have to wrestle with it back then, though, and I still remember the exact words that came to me as I typed my objective (on my typewriter, by the way): To motivate & inspire…

I realized last week, as I worked to sum up my life’s mission for Bible study class, that those same words are still true for me today. My mission statement, then, came out sounding like this:

To motivate, encourage & inspire others to become their God-created, gifted selves, powered by the Word and the very real & present teachings of the Holy Spirit; to create space for God to move His people into closer communion with Him.

25 years later, I am realizing that it was God Himself who spoke these words into my resume and into my life – that’s why they haven’t gone away. And by faith, I believe that God speaks words of vision and life over each of us that cannot be taken away – not by the tragedies we face, not by the lies told about us, not even by our own failures along the way.

I believe that God’s dream for me is bigger – MUCH BIGGER! – than any idea or goal or objective I can come up with on my own. He has a plan to use the good stuff, the bad stuff, and even the ugly bits of my life in order to grow His kingdom all around me – and He speaks that dream over my life along with words like: Beloved. Daughter. Bride. 

My faith grows every year as I watch God speak His dreams over you – my friends and family, students and teachers. Thank you for giving me another year filled with beautiful glimpses of God-at-work, and for making room in your lives for Him to motivate and inspire YOU!

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