Today, I broke down and cried in church.
 
This was a first for me — both a moment that I had been waiting for and been utterly unprepared for. My usually stoic self was staggered.
 
Slightly distracted following a conversation with my girlfriend, the sermon started with a few words that hit me hard:
 
“What kind of impression do you leave?”
 
Admittedly, the question is powerful in its own right, but allow me to add some context. The question was deeply wrapped in synchronicity. 
 
Synchronicity is the idea of “meaningful coincidences” without any causal relationship, yet they are meaningfully related. The idea was originally described by the German psychologist Carl Jung
 
In the book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron frequently references a higher power, and although she refers to that power as God, she allows her reader to make their own judgment so long as they understand her literal emphasis of the term the Great Creator.
 
By opening ourselves to this higher power, we allow it to flow through us. We allow the triggering of synchronicity. “We change and the universe furthers and expands that change.” 
 
From The Work of the Chariot she quotes “When a man takes one step toward God, God takes more steps toward that man than there are sands in the world of time.”
 
This concept is often referred to as serendipity.

Adding Context

Now, where this gets really interesting is my conversation the previous night. Initiated from an innocuous Twitter quote from Ribbonfarm.com creator and thought-provoker Venkatesh Rao:
 
 
The initial idea was simply to provide a one liner describing what you can do to make money. Venkatesh started with his own example: “I’m useful to talk to when thinking through management problems, especially in engineering organizations.”
 
As I often struggle to concisely clarify my own identity, I thought the challenge of providing a one line summation seemed interesting. 
 
Interacting with a friend, my first attempt was: I share knowledge to enable others’ success.
 
Which immediately led me to an overarching purpose statement for my life: I try to serve and better others through a dedication to lifelong learning and following the example of Jesus Christ.
 
WHOA! That’s a new one for me; I’d never so explicitly put Jesus into my purpose statement (or admittedly, at all).
 
After a lot of back-and-forth, wordsmithing, and the internal acknowledgment of what just happened, the statement went through a few changes:
 
I am committed to following the example of Jesus Christ: to grow through lifelong learning, share my knowledge with others and help others better themselves.
 
Whoa, now he’s up-front. Still, it wasn’t where I wanted…and then there was this:
 
I am following the example of Jesus Christ: seeking and sharing knowledge to disrupt the status quo.
 
That opened the discussion to what “the status quo” entails. To that, I responded society, poverty, dedication to the hustle and money. Challenging conventional wisdom about how we live our lives. To live with intentionality and, hopefully, generosity. Empathy. Integrity. There’s a lot there.
 
We ended the conversation discussing the search for identity. The next step was actually going to be looking at obituaries from the New York Times and, following those examples, to write my own obituary. What do I want to be remembered for?

It was an interesting discussion — most of our daily problems are irrelevant when we think about the legacy that we leave behind in the end. There was a plan.

And, then God Dropped the Hammer.

Not even 12 hours later: “What kind of impression do you want to leave?”
 
As Julia Cameron referenced, I had been taking my steps towards God, and now He was taking his.
 
In the last year, I was formally baptized as an adult with my girlfriend. Under the same church’s roof, we attended pre-marriage counseling deepening our connection within God’s guidance. I started attending a weekly Connect group (aka a Bible study) where my knowledge of God and faith has continued to grow.
 
God reforging me
 
Still, I failed to reach the point of surrender. 
 
As part of my daily journal, I write a daily affirmation. Following my reading of The Artist’s Way, my March 1st affirmation read “I am creative and willing to listen to what God is telling me.” It’s evolved to this day’s affirmation: “I am surrendering to God’s will and ask for his guidance.”
 
And then last night, I placed Jesus Christ as the foundation for my life’s purpose. Still, whoa.
 
Synchronicity. Meaningful coincidence without any linked connection.

The Sermon

The sermon was the completion of a series on the biblical book of Galatians, a letter that Paul wrote to the early Christian church when some of its followers were trying to add additional layers and requirements for recognition as Christians, despite Jesus’ own lessons on salvation.
 
Jesus + Nothing = Salvation
 
There were three main points:
 
The first point spoke to our individual victories, pride, and purity that propels ourselves above others. If you need examples, just open your social media feeds. Salvation requires no such deeds.
 
 
The second point related to embracing the Cross of Christ. As the Bible consistently states, following God does not free us from suffering on this earth. Being a follower of Jesus often requires persistence in proclaiming faith through persecution and judgment.
 
The last point came from Galatians 6:15, “…what counts is the new creation.” Again, we find our-self with that connotation of the creator. Traditional expectations that we could never hope to meet have been cast asunder. As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice we have a path to freedom.
 
I am following the example of Jesus Christ: seeking and sharing knowledge to disrupt the status quo.

Bringing it Home

In my last Connect Group, we discussed people that keep prayer journals. They record their prayers and when their prayers are answered, they record the dates.
 
My initial thought was that this recording was selfish — recording our prayers with the expectation that God provide us an answer.
 
Until now.
 
I have witnessed many miracles in my life: my three or four-year old little sister falling more than two-stories when a screen burst from the window she was leaning on. The impact left an impression in the ground that remains nearly 30 years later; however, she was without a scratch.
 
Then there is the synchronicity that we experience everyday; the thoughts that we project into the world and the coincidental answers that come back to us. Or that song on the radio.
 
In a world that prides itself on science, truth, and factfulness, today I understand.
 
Julia Cameron said that “answered prayers are scary. They imply responsibility. You asked for it. Now that you’ve got it, what are you going to do?”
 
I am following the example of Jesus Christ: seeking and sharing knowledge to disrupt the status quo.
 
And God responded. As the band played Christ Be All Around Me, I bowed my head from my seat in the back row and the tears came.
 
Above and below me
Before and behind me
In every eye that sees me
Christ be all around me
Whoa, whoa
Christ be all around me
 
What kind of impression do you want to leave?
 

As always, thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts! Connect with me via Twitter or email!

 

As previously mentioned, this is part of my #100Days100Deliverables going with #The100DayProject. This is Day 6 — there was nothing for Day 5. We’re all fallible!


About Scott

Writer. Teacher. Learner. Keen on process and individual improvement. And running really, really far.

View all posts by Scott

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *