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My Path?

November 3, 2011

Divine Savior United Methodist Church in Madison, Wisconsin, launched its Spiritual Gifts discovery initiative with a weekend workshop in September 2011. Participant Robin Pettersen shared the following testimony with the congregation during worship in October:

 I feel a bit like an upstart giving my response to the Spiritual Gifts work, as I am a fairly new participant at Divine Savior. That said, attending the workshop in September felt like an important step on my spiritual path.

The workshop was so helpful, establishing distinctions between the different ways of approaching work in a community and assisting me to gain the appreciation for many different styles. It felt great to be able to laugh about how irritating we can be to each other as our styles bump, but it helped to see that if I could get beyond “MY perfect way of being,” I could acknowledge and appreciate the gifts others bring that I may not have. I learned that if we can get beyond our resistance to others’ styles, we can have a much more rich pool of ideas and paths-to-action to draw from.

The insights from the workshop let me identify more clearly my behavioral tendencies in different contexts and those that I shift to when under stress. I found I had been fooling myself, and I had some “Oh . . . no wonder” moments in regard to work as well as family and marriage.

 My path?
As I grow in trying to see myself and my patterns and my assumptions,
As I accept those weaknesses in myself and become more humble,
As I let go of the stress of trying to be perfect and pretending to be,
I feel able to be more open to the generosity and work of Jesus’ teachings. This opening of my spirit helps me to see all of us on a journey fraught with beauty and difficulty and eases my need to judge others.

In my written reflection at the end of the workshop I said that I still don’t know that God has a “will” for me personally, but that I hope to be a small piece of doing God’s work in the world, which is what I believe Jesus was articulating for us.

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