I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my gifts most resonate… how my calling fits in within the context of the community. It is difficult to consider this while putting aside the modern definitions of what makes me “successful.” Isn’t it amazing how much the concept of money and pay clouds our freedom to admit what it is that truly makes our hearts beat faster?!?
I know… I know that I know that I know… that my purpose is to hold space for men and women to engage and grow into more mature and sustainable relationships with self, others, and God. This is it for me. I thrive on relationships. I connect. I listen. I engage in the fine art of “village alchemy.”
This concept of the village is something that has rocked my world in the last couple months. If you are familiar with Christ’s teachings on the kingdom of God, his early followers, or other people throughout history but definitely within the last ten/twenty years concepts of sustainable community… then you have an idea. Our gifts, our relationships, our sharing, gathering, time choices… everything… gets lived out in the framework of the village.
I will be writing much more about the concept of village culture as I move forward from here (who’s it for, what it consists of, how it sustains, what we do, etc). But for now, a word must be written about my place. Alchemy. I guess there is an element of combining substances and seeing what happens, with all the live-culture foods and beverages I love to create, but this is just a tangible analogy… within the community of the village it is about relationships… self, community, and God.
This idea of village alchemy was clarified by Kat and my new friends Rick and Sally last night. Immediately, I knew they were on to something. Merriam-Webster defines alchemy as
“the speculative scientific way to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life” or “a power or process of transforming something common into something special.”
There is a lot to the historic aspect of alchemy, but for me, in the context of the village, it is crafting, honing, connecting, improving… with a little “magic” that comes from listening to where the spirit of God is whispering. My work in this area will be made clear in the posts to come.