Don’t be an ass
October 16th, 2012 by Agent Kevin Miller
1. a long-eared, slow, patient, sure-footed domesticated mammal, Equus asinus, related to the horse, used chiefly as a beast of burden.
Did you get that?
A domesticated mammal used chiefly as a beast of burden.
Here in Rockies where the ‘West was won’ you’ll find many photos of donkeys with burdens of heavy supplies on their backs. You’ll also see many horses. There are many stories of horses, even memorials. Now, horses were capable of carrying basic supplies too, but it seemed a waste when they are capable of so much more! Such as transporting messengers with vital information at high speed over long distances and carrying riders into battle. Donkeys were used like a tool while horses were vital for life, and beloved.
I have seven children. Someday they will leave home to live their own lives. They will have to work to earn a living and pay the bills, that’s for sure. In doing so, they have two choices:
Be a Tool: They’ll devote their lives doing ‘whatever’ to merely earn a wage in order to pay the bills.
Be Vital for Life (lives): They’ll devote their lives to a cause and a purpose and a passion and either earn their income from directly doing it, or earn it on the side to support the primary cause (like Paul in the Bible making tents).
The crux is this…somewhere along the line in our culture, it became more ‘responsible’ to be a Tool. A replaceable, uninspired cog in the wheel. And terms like:
- Chasing your dream
- Doing what you want
- Enjoying your work
…have become defined as a luxury.
Check out these resources…the picture and caption to the right and the video and book excerpt below. You decide.
As for me, one of my devotions is to my kids. My quest for them is to remain undomesticated and devote themselves to being vital for life. To do whatever it is which makes them whole and fully alive and vital, even if it results in circumstantial hardship, pain and even death. I don’t care to find them safe, secure and ‘living the good life’. I want them leaning on faith, risking much and ‘living a worthwhile life’.
That cliche’ quote attributed to William Wallace, “Everyone dies but not everyone truly lives” has never been more critical.
Please take a moment to review these sources…they are worthy. Very worthy.
“What if money was no object?” – A 3 minute lecture by Alan Watts.
“Vocation” – book excerpt from Frederick Buechner
Like “duty,” “law,” “religion,” the word “vocation” has a dull ring to it, but in terms of what it means, it is really not dull at all. Vocare, to call, of course, and a man’s vocation is a man’s calling. It is the work that he is called to in this world, the thing that he is summoned to spend his life doing. We can’t speak of a man’s choosing his vocation, but perhaps it is at least as accurate to speak of a vocation’s choosing the man, of a call’s being given and man’s hearing it, or not hearing it. And maybe that is the place to start: the business of listening and hearing. A man’s life is full of all sorts of voice is calling him in all sorts of directions. Some of them are voices from inside and some of them are voices from outside. The more alive and alert we are, the more clamorous our lives are. Which do we listen to? What kind of voice do we listen for?