"Many of us would like the world to change, but we don't want to endure the trouble of helping make it happen." - Arnold Mindell, in his book Sitting in the Fire
"The various levels of problems and issues are interwoven, so that solving any one of them without simultaneously addressing the others rarely works for long." - Arnold Mindell
"Structural work is only a bandage unless feelings have been healed." - Arnold Mindell
The truth in the last two quotes above oftentimes make me experience the truth of the first one.
The real and truly life transforming work of Christ is long and hard work. It demands a calling forth of the whole person without reservation to participate in it. Yet so many of us are only willing to give portions of our selves to any kind of work, that we end up spending our lives doing things that are far from transforming.
How can we feel okay about this? Well, we have (at least) 3 choices...2 bad, 1 good:
Bad Choice #1 - We spend our lives not feeling okay about this, but do nothing about it, deciding that "feeling okay" isn't attainable for us or worth the trouble. This, ironically, helps us feel okay about this.
Bad Choice #2: We judge that "transformation" is something that is unattainable, or not our business, or un-measurable...and therefore an idealistic goal that we can't rationally and logically shoot for in any practical way. And so we make up that a much lesser goal is worthy of our pursuit, and then we put another word to it: "Successful". With this impressive, powerful word packed with lesser, attainable goals, we can then live a life of ease and "part-time-ness" and still feel okay...because we are "successful".
These lesser goals have to do with superficial things like the amount of money I make (or give away), the number of people showing up, the amount of time I spend working, the "win-loss" columns, the popularity I seem to have, the amount of encouragement I receive, the lack of critical feedback, etc... These much easier, more attainable, more (presumably) measurable things become our life's work. All of these things can be accomplished without transforming anyone (primarily oneself). So it is win/win: I get to feel "successful", and I can do so without giving my whole self.
The Good Choice: Both the bad choices above are the same in that they decide to "feel alive" by lowering their standards of what makes them "feel alive". The only way to make the human spirit's engine "hum" like it is designed to is to lay it all out for the belief that transformation is possible. And that the work of transformation, no matter how hard, no matter how long, no matter how hard it is to measure, no matter how impossible it appears to be...IS possible and the only pursuit worth any effort.
You ever heard the phrase, "Hurting people, hurt people"?
Well...Transforming people, transform people.
Transforming people believe in people, because they know themselves and the revolutions that take place in their own lives. Transforming people know how to measure transformation as a real and practical goal worth pursuing. Transforming people find out how the hard work of transformation isn't quite as hard as it appeared, nor does it take quite as long as expected.
Transforming people are very impractical people to those who have lowered their standards and called something lesser "success".
I admit that living a life of transformation, attempting to make the work of your life the transformation of others, is noble and lofty. I admit that it is hardER to measure than other objective things...but I do not concede that these things make transformation either too high to live out, or impractical to shoot for. It just requires belief. Which Jesus says is the work of God (John 6:29).
I think that is why those of us who shoot for the stars, sights set on lives of transformation of lives, are often referred to as "Believers".