Friday, April 24, 2009

Every time I've taken the Myers Briggs, I've come out an INFJ. It always takes me by surprise. Oh, it takes every one by surprise. No one would have thought being as verbose as I always have been that I might be an introvert. Being the deep thinker that I am, how could I possibly test a feeler? I'm an adventurous free spirit, but an on time, over organized, scheduled J and apparently so intuitive that even though I'm extremely grounded and serious, I'm more head in the clouds. From the time I was in my early twenties, I've tested very close to straight down the middle with one question throwing me a point in one direction or the other.

Of all of the combinations Myer Briggs offers, INFJ is truly the best description of me: complex, (really?) having a great importance in having things orderly and systematic, highly intuitive with uncanny insight into people, making INFJ's protective parents with high expectations of their children (you should ask Riley what he thinks about this! He'll tell you.)

INFJ's are creative and independent with a natural infinity for art and excel in sciences. They are usually found in service oriented professions. NOT DETAILED.

Only 1% of the population has an INFJ personality making it the most rare of all types. If you can imagine that being saddled with such intricate interests is both a blessing and a curse, it is. Sometimes I see directly through people and their motives and I'm rarely wrong. I am sometimes wrong, but rarely. This to a fault leads to being extremely cynical. I don't strive for perfectionism, but have a very strong sense or foundation for understanding situational ethics.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my lack of accomplishments with such great interests I could be excelling at and at the same time wondering what will the future bring? I've hoped that having a public blog would be successful for me in terms of feeling I could write about anything, but in truth there are some things I prefer not to so transparent about. To be quite straightforward, I would call myself a NON-evangelical Christian in terms of the fact that I care so deeply about other people and what they believe that I can not be directly evangelical as I find this to be UN-evangelical if not done with much care. That's a very difficult thing to explain when Christianity is somehow based on our ability to spread what we believe through word of mouth, rather than quietly living out our day to day faith in a way that people might consider us different to the point of taking notice.

I've been searching for my masterpiece in hopes of becoming world renowned, I mean - don't we all want to be famous? I'm perhaps realizing, I might be a
Van Gough, who never sold a painting in his life time. His art was about impressionism with an emphasis on light, not detail and it took time for people to see what he was about. In fact, it took time for everyone to understand the message conveyed by impressionism. The original introduction of impressionism was a counter to photography which was a precise mirror image of the world in that day with complete detail. Impressionist artists were inspired to find something different, to look at the world from a different perspective. "The impressionist were the first to offer a subjective alternative to photography."

True to an INFJ which is described as so intricate in interests and personalities that it can take 3-5 years to get past the surface and begin to see all of the intricate values held by these rare people. I think it would be impossible for me to ever be simple rather than complex.

I've always been inclined to love Oswald Chambers' beloved and timeless devotional My Utmost for His Highest with the entry for April 24th being The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success.

"Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace, and our work as His disciples is to disciple others’ lives until they are totally yielded to God. One life totally devoted to God is of more value to Him than one hundred lives which have been simply awakened by His Spirit."

Oh Oswald. You say it so well! Would you believe this has been in print since 1935 - printed 18 years after Chambers' death.

The entry I was looking for is the one I've referred back to most repetitively in my life which is
July 28th God's Purpose or Mine?

I've had this copy of My Utmost since my 16th birthday when my dearest friend Ellen gave this to me as a gift and it's falling apart in the binding. The words that are on the pages have long been etched on my heart giving me the strength to move forward one step at a time in even the most uncertain of times, ensuring me that Christianity is not a fad, but a faith. It's not a club, it's way of life.

Living by God's purpose may not mean marble hallways or crowd filled stadiums, in fact it may not mean moving towards a foreseeable goal at all. This is why I so deeply love Chambers' July 28th entry above any other. It's about the process. As we condition ourselves by running one race and reaching the end, we start over and the race gets longer. The valley gets wider, the mountain higher, the nights get longer. That's a bitter cup to drink, but the disciples considered it a joy to be crucified with Christ.

"What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" (
Mark 6:49 ). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God."

I continue to live by this. Not knowing what I'm supposed to do with my life except be me. Perhaps that's enough since it statistically seems to be rare enough that it takes a lot of energy for me to be me and for others to even know me. I continue to live out the faith I believe in with uncertainty in this world, but believing in the certainty of God and his faithfulness. Maybe I'm accepting that I might never be a mirror image of the world, but an impression of my own perspective of what I believe living that out in how I relate to others and how I spend my time, thus always being in a service oriented industry which I currently am.

In the words of Chambers', embracing the process, not the goal or even the success or the outcome, is what makes living life moment by moment precious.

1 comments:

Liz April 26, 2009 at 2:07 PM  

This was a great post! I have heard about the Myers Briggs test and several of my friends have taken it. I have not had the opportunity to take it.

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