Monday, September 5, 2011


For my intents and purposes, a mantra is a group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation." I realize there are a lot of hindu or other religious auras that surround the word, but I don't care.
In college, my cross country coach suggested creating a personal mantra. Something that defined my goals in a simple, straightforward way. Something I could repeat to myself when I needed some encouragement.
This is Coach Sarah...the single most intrinsicly motivated person I know
A couple weeks ago in church, the pastor made a statement upon the examination of the life of Gideon. (I highly recommend reading Judges 6-8 which outlines his story)
"Those who follow God's mission WILL face the constant temptation to exchange God's agenda for personal ambition." - Steve Sommerlot
After a month off, school is a challege and getting motivated is a chore. Everyday I am tempted by the thought of doing something else that is seemingly easier and more fun. Thankfully, reciting this simple sentence is enough to bring me back to reality. Although it is fun to dream...maybe it's because I just got back from Lake Charlevoix, where I still daydream of the day I'll buy a house on the lake, waterski every morning and make dinner every night -- see picture below. I could make it all work somehow, I'm sure...

My mantra is also a reminder that following God's mission doesn't have to be anything extravagent either. Or an intricantly planned future. I can do it now as a med student, the barista at Starbucks can do it as he hands me "a perfect skinny vanilla latte," and my sister can do it when she makes my day with a random text message. It's being so present and in tune with where we are right now, that God can expand our territories into something we can only dream about down the road. It's easy to trust God 5 years from now. It's much harder in the present.

So, I'm adopting this statement as my mantra. I am convinced a sacrifice of personal ambition (for me that's a life of nice, material things, where I get to cook a nice dinner every night) and comfort (...8 hours of sleep each night) will be worth it. So much so I can hardly call it a sacrifice. It is more blessed to give than receive, God promised.

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