Many people have asked, "How can I get more balance in my life?"
This is the wrong question, and God is not obliged to answer bad questions. Convergence is not about balancing different parts of life. It is about submitting all to God and integrating.
Why might the balance question be the wrong question?
Integration is not easy, but it is rewarding. It carries an authenticity that is rare, a peace that is palpable, a centeredness that calms.
Man is made in the image of his/her Creator. Our Creator is a worker. Without his work, we would not exist. Without the things He created, we would not know what He is like. Before a book was written, His divine attributes and nature were visible through His work. The old Quaker saying says, "Work is love made visible" is true. Work is worship (it is the same word in the Hebrew).
However, sin did mess work up: it became a sweaty drudgery, the ground and sky and sea not co-operating as it had done before. Then came the 2nd Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ. He redeemed many things, including our work so that we can, from here on out, work with him in a divine-human collaborative.
Amazing! Discovering work as God designed it is key to Convergence.
Find your passion, then work will be easy! Or, as many a NextGen-ers have said, "If only someone would pay me to do what I am passionate about!"
The problem is, Ms. Millennial, next month your passion (about which you are convinced today) will have changed. Human trafficking will be out of vogue, and the pink-striped salamander will need saving.
Work is work. Sometimes it is inspired, but after the inspiration comes the perspiration. I have written many books, and I love the process... and I hate it. Sometimes it is like wading a swamp, other times like soaring with eagles. If passion--and, by that you mean, feeling constantly excited and uber amped--is your guiding light, you will end up chasing fireflies down a winding path that goes nowhere.
Purpose trumps passion; obedience is bigger than both.
The idea behind "success to significance" is good, and it is bad. The good part is simple: people can realize there is more to life than just being successful. We were made for something more.
If, however, we make a pursuit of significance, we fall into an equal and opposite error, for anything that is pursued before God becomes an idol.
Another bad outworking of "success to significance" is that it opens the possibility of dualistic thinking, where these are two different tracks. The net result is fragmentation, and
“Fragmentation decreases our ability to comprehend truth and make sense of life. This is why satan uses compartmentalisation as part of his strategy to “steal, kill and destroy” thereby reducing our ability to experience the God who is One.” - Brett Johnson
Convergence involves integration, and one of the most plain expressions of this is how (for married couples) wives and husbands flow together. Married life can be greatly enhanced, if not simplified, if there is an agreed joint decision-making framework. Failure to agree on this basic life-process can lead to conflict, misunderstanding and divergence.
Practically, each person should map out how they, in their minds, make decisions. Then compare notes, and agree on a shared decision map. Test it out on a small decision or two before graduating to larger decisions.
In 1986, Lyn and I landed in California with two small children, four suitcases, and a few personal belongings. "This will be your home for quite a while," God whispered as the plane was about to land on those fingerling runways that protrude into the San Francisco bay.
This sparked an intense season of seeking God for what we should do with the foreseeable future: Should we stay in the US? What about our community back home? Do I change careers? Will the children be better off in South Africa, or the USA? Why would God want me to lay aside the church I was leading... many questions.
34 years later, one tends to forget the struggles of those decisions. Truth is, it is a myth that life decisions are easy. "Just ask Jesus," sounds right, but also trite.
Be prepared to wrestle with God, get insight from trusted counsel, see through the mist, stub your toes in the dark: it is part of the journey.
My bent is towards strategy, but in uncertain times, this can paralyze people. We think, "Until I know my life calling, I cannot make a decision."
Generally, we come to understand our purpose as we do the next thing, with one hand on our tools, and an ear toward heaven. We talk about the Head, Heart and Hands of a leader: there is a 4th H... Habits! Sometimes our habits lead us into our calling.
In fact, having the Big Picture in the wrong picture frame is stupid.
Dig into your worldview, the set of assumptions you have about how the world works. Get a little insight into your assumptions about life before you try to settle your purpose. In the meantime, do some good for someone else. Obedience opens the intellect.
There is something amazing about entering God's rest. "Strive to enter God's rest... rest from your own work." The chances of cruising your way to Convergence while you sip champagne and binge Netflix... could be zero.
God is a rewarder of those who "diligently seek him." What does this look like? We can, for one, try to understand his ways, the patterns that seem to mark the lives of leaders who did well. In Convergence, we observe The 7 Seasons, for example, and how each of our lives' goes through such seasons. We try to understand what is normal--tough time, trials, difficulties--so that we don't get discouraged.
There are lots of distractions that will keep your mind occupied with everything in general. Technology magnets will suck your focus away from what is best. We can get so preoccupied with WhatsApp, Instagram, Tik Tok, viral videos and trending trash. It is hard to stay focused on things that matter. Let's make choices that draw us towards Convergence.
The paper, published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, said: "As with internet addiction, the concepts of selfitis and selfie addiction started as a hoax, but recent research including the present paper has begun to empirically validate its existence.”
But it won't kill me... don't count on it. According to a 2018 BBC article, 259 people reported dead seeking the perfect picture. The quest for extreme selfies killed 259 people between 2011 and 2017, a 2018 global study has revealed.
Researchers at the US National Library of Medicine recommend that 'no selfie zones' should be introduced at dangerous spots...
Let's be honest, the carefully curated Instagram photos have nothing to do with what someone really looks like, let alone who they are. This notion of carefully managing your social media image is partly a consequence of faulty thinking.
Jesus says, "Lose your life and you find it." There were a bunch of people who rejected Jesus back in the day because they valued their image and reputation above truth.
There are some things we must cultivate: truth, humility and justice, for example. There are things we must grow more than our following: love, joy, peace, patience kindness, self-control etc. Scripture says that promotion does not come from the North or the South, the East or the West, but promotion comes from the Lord. Get a new Brand Manager, and rather focus on your character, competence, calling, community... the important things.