I’m excited to start a new series tonight for three important reasons. First of all, being honest here, having a series ensures that I have something to write about for a few weeks. Second, I've really wanted to spend some time delving into this subject, and this seemed like a good way to make that happen. Third, I've been really bad about adding to the blog lately. I'm hopeful this will be a way to jumpstart a renewed commitment to post at least once a week.

So, the new series is called: The Circles of Life!

I know everyone has heard of the circle of life, and if you're of a certain generation, this term is visualized best by The Lion King’s Mufasa holding up Simba to present to the pride. The circle of life is the basic premise that, for instance, in the jungle – lions live, they kill other animals for nourishment, then one day they die and their bodies nourish the earth to make grass for the prey of another lion. Voila! It’s the circle of life.

That's not what we are talking about.

The idea we are going to talk about is how you can leverage the idea of a circle whenever you face a defining moment in your life. And, beyond that, how this circle concept can help you stay on track with your life.

The idea is presented in the book “The Passionate Church: The Art of Life-Changing Discipleship”, and it is part of the culture we are building at our new church, The Chapel. Noble (the founder of The Chapel) has talked about it on several occasions, and he gave me the go ahead to blog some about what it means to go through a circle.

Tonight, we will start with a quick fly-over of the concept. The idea is that we are all working our way through life, minding our own business, when boom! We have a Kairos moment. A Kairos moment is defined as:

Kairos: ˈkīräs (in case these symbols mean as much to you as they do to me…it's pronounced keerahs)/ noun 1. a propitious moment for decision or action.

Kairos as traditionally defined is a favorable action – but we are using it to highlight any defining moment that drives you to a decision. The divorce, the drink, the indiscretion, the accident, the death – or it could even be the promotion, the raise, the move. Any defining moment in life that could alter your course – for good, or bad.

So we all have these Kairos moments in which time kind of stops. And it is in these moments where the trajectory of life can be drastically altered. We can mess things up pretty badly and basically derail the train. The idea behind our topic–the circles of life– is that these moments don't have to change your trajectory. There is a process that you can go through that can actually leverage these moments for growth and positive change.

Here's a picture of our fearless leader teaching the concept at church a few weeks back (With slightly more polished graphics):

As you see in the picture, there are two key questions to ask when you are facing a Kairos moment: What is God wanting to teach me? What is my response?

In order to figure out the first half of the circle – What is God wanting to teach you – you need to: Observe, Reflect, and Discuss which leads to Repent (Repent is a loaded concept that we will delve into more deeply in the series).

In order to figure out the second half – How you are going to respond – you need to: Make a plan, be accountable, and then act.

The fantastical end result is that you don't let a bad choice lead to a bad life. You take the steps necessary to course correct and get back on track.

I'm so excited that this is part of our core culture at The Chapel. I'm so excited to go somewhere that understands that circles happen! I've no interest in pretending that I never have problems or that I have it all figured out. But, in order to live an authentic life, I need a safety net of people who I trust to help me work through the obstacles that come up in life. This framework is giving us all a common language and approach.

I'm hoping as I record the concepts and ideas here that the theory becomes more solidified in my mind. And as I better understand it, I'm I hope that I’m quicker to leverage it – for problems at work or at home. I'm really excited to teach it to the kids so that they start to learn that they can turn things around – sometimes quickly! Of course, there are big life-encompassing circles that take a long time to work through, too. But that's okay, as long as we are making progress around the circle and not just on a downward trajectory. Progress doesn’t have to be quick; sometimes, it takes as long as it takes.

Next week we will take a deeper look at the first half of the circle. The need to do this was driven home this week when I read a news story about a preacher in Georgia who took his own life while his family and congregation sat in church waiting for his arrival. He suffered from manic depression but didn't feel like he could step away from his role as pastor to ask for help. This story made me realize that traveling these circles of life is important work. This idea that we start acknowledging that mistakes happen – circles happen – and we have to be there for one another, it's important stuff.

Thanks for walking with me. We will start the more in depth look at this next week.



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