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Agenda-Less

10 Sep

A few months ago I heard Phil Vischer (creator of Veggie Tales) tell in a video lecture how his veggie empire and the dream of his film studio becoming the Christian Disney came crashing down. He was devastated.He came through that time wiser and having learned some lessons. I took a few notes as I was listening. Here are some bits from my scribbles:

“He who has God and many things is no better off than he who has God alone” – C.S. Lewis.

He learned to wait on God. His passion shifted from making an impact to God Himself. He had to die to his ambition and misplaced sense of identity.

He summed up his talk with three points:
1. God loves you the way you are even when you’re not doing anything at all.

2. When the time comes to be doing something for God, don’t worry about the outcome. That’s His job. The impact God has planned for us doesn’t happen when we’re pursuing impact, it happens when we’re pursuing God.

3. Beware of your dreams, for dreams make dangerous friends.
“Why would God want us to let go of our dream?
Because anything you won’t let go of is an idol.”

In the poem below, written some years ago, I grapple in my own way with living the self-directed life. It’s something I continue to battle. However, it’s important that I do because I believe the secret to true FREEDOM for a disciple of Jesus is the repeated and continuous relinquishment to Him of dreams, agendas, and outcomes.

Cultivator in grass and flowers

Photo © 2015 by V. Nesdoly

AGENDA-LESS

“And when I stop telling God what I want, He can catch me up for what He wants without let or hindrance….He can do anything He chooses” Oswald Chambers.

All my life
I’ve lived by agenda
guided myself by purpose
– be the best piano player, student, teacher, writer
governed by goals
– practice four hours, study six, work ten, write always
derived meaning, direction, identity
by pursuing them.

But such a penchant becomes a burden
when I become drive-obsessed
my life possessed by looking for evidence
my purposes are planted in reality.
This turmoil stirs and shakes
the vat of inner life
especially when best efforts all fall short
or when reaching one goal
leaves me still thirsty
mirages into another.

And so I seek a new agenda –Yours
to keep in step with You
give You responsibility
for my agenda.

Do I now need to change my course
mount a different horse?
Leave home and family, say,
and be a missionary?
Go into a different
line of work?
No. That may well be taking
my reins in hand again.

It only means
to change place
from plowman to ox
labor under Your easy yoke
my efforts synchronized
with Your large purpose
as I plow my small
furrow in Your field.

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

spiritual-journey-framedThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday where the theme this week is Freedom. Spiritual Journey Thursday is hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Watch a video of Phil Vischer giving his talk on dreams to the Convocation of Liberty University.

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12 Comments

Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Personal, Religious

 

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12 responses to “Agenda-Less

  1. Catherine Johnson

    September 10, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Wonderful poem, Violet and great thoughts you shared with us.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      September 10, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks Catherine. Some talks stay with one longer than others. I watched that video in early summer, but when I came across my notes a few days ago, I didn’t want to throw them out. There are things in them that need to be dyed into the fabric of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Catherine Johnson

        September 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        Great metaphor, Violet.

        Liked by 1 person

         
  2. Maureen

    September 10, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I empathize with those struggles…

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      September 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Thanks, Maureen. I wonder, do you think it ever gets easy to back down from directing one’s own life?

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Maureen

        September 10, 2015 at 8:15 pm

        no, I’ve been around a long time, and I still struggle

        Liked by 1 person

         
  3. Holly Mueller

    September 10, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Oh wow, I love this. What a wonderful poem. We all responded with poetry today! I’d like to see that Phil Vischer video. My kids LOVED Veggie Tales when they were little. Thanks for linking up!

    Like

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      September 10, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks for hosting, Holly, and for the thought-provoking topic of Freedom. I’ve linked the video talk at the bottom of the post so you can watch it. There’s lots to mull over in what he PV says.

      Like

       
  4. bakrawiec

    September 11, 2015 at 2:23 am

    Morning, Violet, Once again, your poetic wisdom gifts me. This time: Ouch! I am totally (rightfully, gratefully) convicted. Thank you. Your prayer will become my prayer. I’ve already been counseled, more than once: “Let Him lead. Stop tripping yourself, walking up His ankles, trying to make Him move faster. Follow His pace. Leave a respectful distance, Walk calmly behind.. .” I know what His priests were saying to me, not that I shouldn’t walk beside, but I’ve got first to learn to let Him take the lead, to be trustfully content walking behind.
    … So… if not one person reads anything I’ve shared today in 9/11 posts into which I’ve poured my heart, I’ll remember to reread what you shared. I’ll content myself with waiting on the Lord, knowing that if I seek affirmation and fulfillment in my written words, themselves, in my authoring dreams, rather than in Him, in the Word, I will never feel fully satisfied. I will never be totally free to be sufficiently who I am in Him–minus any worldly acclaim. Thank you once again. May God continue to inspire and to bless your writing. I continue to be grateful for your generous mentoring.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  5. Violet Nesdoly

    September 11, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Thanks, Barb! As Maureen says, above, it’s a constant struggle. One study I did some years ago in my church that addresses this issue from many angles is ‘Experiencing God’ by the Blackabys. My book is full of highlights and underlines!

    Like

     
  6. margaretsmn

    September 11, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I’m so glad you are linking up for Spiritual Thursdays. Such wisdom in this post. I all too often have pursued my own agenda. Contemplation and listening will lead to much more happiness and peace.

    Like

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      September 11, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks so much, Margaret. It’s nice to have a weekly topic. Without your encouragement and example I don’t know if I’d be so brave or open.

      Liked by 1 person

       

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