Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Will They Rise to the Challenge?

One of the things that I know tugs at the hearts of thought leaders who are seeking to be Generous Minds, is the question, "Will the people I give my ideas to respond with equal generosity?"

That is a valid question. In so many situations, we see people give of themselves only to have the recipients squander the gift. It's one thing if it is money but when it is a cherished idea, the squandering seems so much more personal.

So as we stand on the verge of sharing our next thought, we ask the question and consider whether our audience is worthy of our generosity.

But that is the wrong consideration. It is not about whether the audience is worthy of the idea we are about to share. Instead, we should consider whether we are ready to share it. In the end, we can only have control over our own actions and motivations. So asking if the audience will rise to the challenge goes beyond our sphere of influence.

The bigger question, as I stated above, is whether our hearts are ready to be generous no matter what the outcome is. That is when we know it is time to share the idea in front of us.

Are you paralyzed by your desire to see your ideas take off or are you focused on the right spirit of motivation in your generosity? The second is a much more worthy and attainable effort.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Are you Ready for the Museum?

"For the seekers of the Way, the buildings, rituals, documents, and theologies of the
Christian tradition serve as a rich museum that inspires our efforts to practice the way of Jesus.
They remind us that we are apart of an unfolding story and an ongoing conversation about
what it means to live as "children of the light" (John 12:36) in our time and place.
But we don't live in museums. The place where we create our "art" isn't in the clean
and well-ordered world of books, historic institutions or even public gatherings, but in the grit
and messiness of daily life and in our relationships with one another." 
Mark Scandrette, Practicing the Way of Jesus, 40-41



The museum's of this life are where our ideas are shared. They are the places in the public square where our ideas get walked around and tried on for size. But they are not where our ideas are "cooked up" are they? We love how Mark Scandrette contrasts the museums of our world with the laboratories of life. One is for presentation and the other is for preparation.

Mark filled out that idea by contrasting how the most amazing paintings are housed in these marble buildings with guards and hours of operation while many of them are created in out of the way studios that most people would not feel safe visiting.

So many times we value the ideas that get displayed in the beautiful "museums" of this world. But we do not tend to value where those ideas came from. The wrestling, polishing, defining and arraigning is not so appealing as the presentation.

But just as Mark is making the point about the "art" that is the life with Jesus, the "art" that is the crafting of an idea is valuable because of the process it goes through. The "grit and messiness of daily life" that Mark describes.

We all want to show our work and be affirmed by the "museums" of this world, but until we walk around with our idea in this world and allow it to rub shoulders with the people who will be impacted by it, then we are not yet ready.

Last week we talked about having the patience to wait to share an idea. Well, one of the reasons for that patience is that our ideas must be ready. We have to know that they represent what God is doing in our lives and the Truth of what God cares about in this world. Unless you can affirm that, your best bet is to keep walking around with what is on your heart!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Sometime You Have to Wait

Sometimes generosity has to wait. Instead of giving now, you need to wait and give when the time is right. We are sure there are examples of times when that is true with money but, surprise...surprise, we are talking about ideas in this case.

Tonight Jon heard a short interview with the Country music group Zac Brown Band talking about their latest hit - Goodbye in Her Eyes. In the interview one of the band members shared how the song took 12 years to write. They worked on it over time and then finally one day the last piece came together. Only then were they ready to release it. The artist talked about how he loved those songs that built over time.

What can we learn from this successful musician? Simply this . . . even if you have something to share, it doesn't mean it is time to do so. It may not be ready. In the end the value of your gift is not only in the sharing of it but in the completeness of it. That means that if you sense that your idea still needs more time to cook or more input then be brave enough to hold off.

We need to resist the shouts of our "Microwave Generation" and allow things to develop the way they should. Only then will they have significant impact as we share them.