Friends, I’ve been thinking, what can you not not do? Parker Palmer writes, “Vocation at its deepest level. This is something I can’t not do, for reasons I’m unable to explain to anyone else, and don’t fully understand myself, that that are nonetheless compelling.” I love that. Such a generous, expansive invitation for us to consider, what can we not do? I can’t help myself.
What’s the thing you find yourself thinking, exploring, without prompt or obligation? A friend of mine recently told me that he cannot not photograph bacteria. Like what? Come again. He was telling me about how he, my friend Rob, he discovered these galaxies in this like do it yourself home petri dishes. And he was literally like unable to stop himself. So he documented his work in a children’s book for his daughter. How fantastic is that? So where are we compelled for reasons we do not understand even to ourself? What I love about this is that we get absolved of the necessity to explain. We don’t need to attempt to explain why it’s sensible or it’s not. Why we’re qualified or we should. What we’re gonna do about it or not. We just get thrust into feeling compelled and paying attention to what is compelling us forward.
When I apply this question for myself, I’m compelled for reasons I do not fully understand and cannot explain a good reason for helping humans thrive. Recharging my mind and soul in wilderness and wild places to go first, down unknown paths to extract and excavate my interior life onto pen, paper, and audio and share it here with you, which is perplexing at times. And to make maps, like a cartographer, documenting the typography, edges of the frontier, and business of the heart in spiritual life with God.
I want to close with one more quote from Frederick Buechner, “When we think of these things that compel us, we’re unable to explain to ourselves, what if the place that God calls us, you, is to the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet? So what is it that you cannot do? You can’t help yourself from being curious about? And might it be in that place of deep gladness, it actually meets a world with deep hunger.” Friends, this is good for you. This is good for us.
Let’s keep going,