admit it. I like Oprah. Since I'm not
one to watch daytime television, I don't watch her
shows very often; but if I find myself in front of
the television at 4pm, I will occasionally tune into
her show. And I must confess, I generally find
that I am enlightened by some nugget of what she or
a guest has to offer. Oprah is in many ways a
positive force in this world. Her Angel
Network creates programs and infuses money and
education to break the cycles of poverty and
violence around the world. Through her Book
Club, she's enticed hoards of people to step away
from their technological gadgetry and to pick up
books again. Her unabashed questioning of
medical guests exposes all of those areas we're all
too afraid to speak with our doctors about, and has
empowered millions to take charge of their physical
and mental health without shame or embarrassment.
And, above all, Oprah frequently and openly
discusses the importance of her faith as being THE
guiding principle in her life.
other day, I happened to tune in to part of an Oprah
show. Her guest was Anderson Cooper (of CNN
fame) who, I learned, is fashion mogul Gloria
Vanderbilt's youngest child. In the course of
the interview, Anderson revealed various pieces of
wisdom his mother had offered to him as a young man.
And what stuck with him was a comment his mother
made to him upon his graduation from college, when
he truly had no idea what he wanted to do with his
life. And it stuck with me, too.
break here to offer this: at some point in our
lives, and in many cases, at several points in our
lives, we will each come upon a moment when we have
no idea what we want to do. We ask questions
like: "Is this all there is?" or "How in the
world did I end up here?" or "What now?" or "What's
the meaning of all this?" or "What would people
think if I left this to do that?"
Or we may make statements like: "If all things
were equal, I'd do X, but all things aren't
equal, so I have to stick with Y." or "If I
could do anything in the world, I would do ___."
or "If money were no object, then I would do ____."
or "In a perfect world, I would do ____."
cusp of manhood, when Anderson Cooper had completed
college and, by Society's timetable, should be fully
prepared and equipped to know what his "work" would
be, he found himself at a loss, asking questions
like "What now?" So he turned to his mother
for advice. And when he asked her what he
should do with his life, she responded simply:
"Follow your bliss."
confessed that he did not understand her comment for
several years. And one day, in the midst of
covering a civil unrest from the front lines
half-way around the world, it came to him. He
had found and followed his bliss. He has never
looked back, and he, like Oprah, will readily
acknowledge that, by "following their bliss," they
are more equipped than at any other time to offer
strength and service and hope to others.
is your bliss? Following your bliss is not a
new concept. Throughout the Scriptures, we see
references to this very same idea. We each are
endowed by our Creator with gifts that serve His
kingdom. For instance, Paul talks of seven
spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8: prophecy, serving,
teaching, exhortation, giving, administration, and
mercy; and in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, Paul delineates
additional spiritual gifts.
your bliss can be frightening, financially
uncertain, even physically dangerous. People
frequently will not understand your actions when you
follow your bliss, and they may try and talk you out
of it. But following your bliss means living
into the fullness of who you are, living out
in fulfillment the person God knows you to be.
And when truly, you follow Christ's example of
living into the fullness of who you are, when
you live in complete trust of the God who implanted
within you your bliss, then the rest remarkably
falls into place. But you can't see or
experience that until you fully and completely let
go. For this is really what it mean to have
faith and trust.
"however that may be, let each of you lead the life
that the Lord has assigned, to which God called
you." 1 Corinthians 7:17. That is, follow your