If you live long enough so you've had the blessing of learning the spiritual disciplines of noticing and reflecting, you'll recognize this life of ours can take peculiar twists, switches and turn-backs. There seems no straight line from birth to death for many of us, if not most of us.
In my case one of the most unforeseen is a recent mini-turn-back to a previously well-worn path called PLAYMAKER. Over three decades ago at the leaving of my stalled career as a professional jazz drummer, I was within days invited onto the path culminating in PLAYMAKER. Working for a company called People Management, at the time headquartered in Simsbury, CT, I would embark on a new journey learning how to recognize people's MAP (Motivated Abilities Pattern), and help them make informed decisions about career choice, career path, or job fit. I'd never been in the business world before, but had the ability to analyze, see patterns and write MAP reports. I also found on this path the ability to help folks interpret and apply the MAP to career or job fit.
I traveled the MAP path for 10 years working with many hundreds of clients from all walks of life and all over the country.
At the terminus of those 10 years, I was summoned onto another, albeit similar, path I'd just traveled. I (with Tricia) discerned a call to full-time ministry we'd call Klesis. As part of that call, I'd continue to offer gifts analyses, but would call it PLAYMAKER Profile. In fact, I focused primarily on PLAYMAKER in the first months. As the path unfolded with clarity, it would include making PLAYMAKERS for people in addition to counseling, leading retreats, and offering spiritual direction. I'd traverse this path for 17 years, and did more than a few PLAYMAKERS along the journey.
In 2007, the path took a turn toward Northampton where we'd plant a small church called imagine/Northampton. In order to support the effort and help provide for us, I'd continue on the path of offering counseling, leading some Listening in Christ retreats, and offering spiritual direction. This leg of the path would include doing 10-20 PLAYMAKERS, but with no real momentum in that direction. Although I have to admit I rarely talked about them to anyone, even in counseling, or in the church. Not sure why, save my central passion was imagine.
Just recently, we (Tricia and I) discerned signs our path is veering back toward doing more PLAYMAKERS; in fact, perhaps as a central focus or at least a major focus. It's been said necessity is the mother of invention, but in my case necessity now is the mother of returning, at least partially. Because of the persisting and serious financial challenges we're wrestling with, my focus has to change toward widening the path to do this kind of work again. The Holy Spirit seems to have opened the way recently with 6 new opportunities to do them. Such a cluster of opportunity has not happened in many years. Therefore, I see it as a beckoning. I'm also talking with someone who has offered to help me think with a more business perspective about it. I'm very open to the proposition fully recognizing I'm not a businessman, but if this is part of, or all of the path I'm to journey in conjunction with imagine/Northampton or apart from it, I have to be seriously professional. I've never really tried business-wise.
After tomorrow, I hope to have a clearer view of the path to which I'm being summoned. One way or the other, it seems I'm stepping back on a path to PLAYMAKER.
These last 6 months have been trying and unsettling as if the ground is shifting increasingly under the path we've been on; no longer does the way forward look clear and sure. I don't like this feeling at all, but it's hard to shake given the abiding, foggy uncertainty we've lived with since the turn of the year. Our current path has to change in some way.