The Time magazine cover story naming Pope Francis Person of the year (December 23, 2013) included this interesting sentence: “Friends in Argentina had perceived him to be slowing down, like a spent force.” Then he was selected as Pope. “In an instant, he was a new man….suddenly the sovereign of Vatican City and head of an institution…with about enough followers to populate China.” Immediately a career and a life that seemed to have stalled was injected with a new sense of hope and passion.
Do you know others who have stalled at different times in their lives or careers, perhaps shaken by changing circumstances, slowed by fading energy, drained of what once brought fulfillment and meaning? Perhaps we’ve all been there or are there now. Frequently I hear from people who are stuck in their careers and unsure where to go next. Christmas week I heard from a friend in ministry who is “facing a transition” and wanting to talk. A former student wrote to say that he was finding life to be “overwhelming at times…trying to gain traction the best I know how.” These people don’t want counseling; they seek somebody who has been on the road longer, willing to walk with them and coach them to a new sense of purpose. Like Moses in a boring wilderness, a cupbearer named Nehemiah, or a Catholic priest from Argentina showing signs of slowing down, they could find new purpose.
Most of you know that I’m inspired by building people, helping them see possibilities for getting unstuck and pushing forward. So this year I’m looking for a few people (maybe you, or someone you know) who would like to spend the next several months journeying with me, two or three times every month in one-to-one telephone conversations. These could be people at any place in life, but especially those who are or have been successful and fulfilled but now are stalled. If you’re interested please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, I’ll revisit some of these themes in coming newsletters even as I continue to share new ideas that I keep reading about and learning. And with God’s guidance I very much anticipate walking with those of you who want to take fresh steps to find renewed hope, passion and purpose.