| Jim Thorne |

The marvelous thing about learning from a story is that the story never ends, so our learning from it need not end either.
— Parker Palmer

While at lunch with an acquaintance, he brought me up short with this question: “So, Jim, at your core, what are your deepest held beliefs and values and how do they influence your daily activities?” My first thought was, “Gosh, I thought this was just a friendly lunch.” My second thought was, “What a great question.”

In responding to the question, I realized it was not immediately clear to me what my core beliefs and values were. This was a wake-up call. I had a good sense of how I lived my life, but I found clearly articulating my beliefs and values difficult. I thought, “If they’re not clear to me, then they’re not fully influencing my daily activities.” My curiosity was awakened.

Following retirement, I was anticipating some sign from God about what I was to do next; the plan was to listen first, rather than rush into volunteering. Two things hampered my listening: a hearing impairment (true) and the fact that as a guy I am not the world’s best listener (also true). Time went on, and I heard nothing; sitting and waiting was not working. And, admittedly, actively praying and actively seeking were not present. This could have been a long wait.

So, I decided to deeply consider my acquaintance’s question and let the answers I discovered shape my post-retirement life. As you read this week’s WAYfinding Blog, I invite you to do the same: “At your core, what are your deepest held beliefs and values and how do they influence your daily activities?”

Here is a process that may be helpful as your curiosity is awakened:

·      What do I know about my beliefs and values?
·      What am I not at all sure about?
·      Am I applying my talents and passions?
·    How do I spend my time?
·    How do I spend my money?
·    Am I living a balanced life?
·    Am I healthy and happy?
·    Am I loving better?
·    Is the world a better place?

This process of getting clarity on my beliefs and values has helped me a bunch. In some instances, there was already clarity and positive influence on daily activities. In other instances, lack of clarity and/or lack of application were revealed, with the opportunity to choose some new paths.

So, how does the question land with you? What shows up when you look for influence in your daily activities? Are there areas with alignment? Are there areas with gaps? Will you choose to make some changes?

Will you find you are loving better? Living healthier? Becoming more alive?

I hope so. I did.


Blog was condensed from a Sunday worship message at entry.point church.