Deprogramming Myself From A Lifestyle of Calling
13 years ago, I had this overwhelming experience with God. Or so I thought. (Maybe I did. Who knows?)
10 years ago, I was fresh out of high school and ditched university to pursue whatever God had for me. Or so I thought.
8 or 9 years ago, I thought I would give my entire life to being some radical missionary for Jesus changing the world with love. And I was wrong.
It has now been 2 years since I started deprogramming myself from the concept, culture and language of calling.
Don't get me wrong. I want to live with purpose and for life to matter, and I *still* dream of my life somehow making the world a better place. But something is very different for me today. I suppose being a devout member of two Evangelical Christian based cults, plucking out the greatest pieces of who I am along the way, and a shit load of trauma to go with it by the age of 27 makes one wake up and smell the coffee. After it's all said and done, and I am years removed from what seems like another human’s life… there is still something that keeps my attention and inability to leave the table for this conversation.
The Christian praxis I was handed and taught for almost a decade turned out to be a joke. The missionary vocation I was inspired by, indoctrinated with and lived out, was a complete scam. I wanted to love the world the way I thought God loved me, and the further I was steeped into it, the more I realized who was excluded or conditioned from it. I never wanted to convert anyone, but I did enjoy sitting with the world's pain and offering love. It wasn't long until I realized it was never God's mission to begin with. It was whoever's organization I was with and living under. I was programmed not to think critically for myself or others, not allowed to live fully as myself and was unknowingly encouraged to live with extreme naivety which cost me everything. And today, I am owning that.
The life I aim to live these days encourages me to live intentionally. That's where there’s a major difference. I am still figuring out what that means for me and that's where all of this comes into play.
I’m not sure where I land today in terms of spirituality and I am fine with that. Five days out of the week I’d say that I am reverently agnostic, and the other two, I’d like to think I’m a mystic after Jesus’s own heart. (But not the two nights a week that I am at meditation with the Buddhists.) Ok, I’m being sarcastic - take a breath.
I am still very captivated by the person and life of Jesus and I probably always will be. It's ok if you aren't and it may be something that I am making up in my head. At the end of the day, I sleep well with both possibilities.
There's a lot that our mistakes can teach us if we let them, and that's where the idea of Failed Missionary finds it's place. This is for those who gave their lives to a spiritual vocation, went to the mission field, some church plant bullshit or simply found yourself in the middle of a faith based culture that both inspired and repulsed you and made you feel as though you failed. It’s also for the ones still there "on the field" willing to lend an ear and work towards a healthier spirituality. Failed Missionary, a show about reimagining faith, spirituality and how we interpret "the Great Commission" launches February 2018.
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