The Growth Mindset
All of this has caused me to reflect on faith.
It struck me that this difference in mindset doesn't simply involve our view of ourselves.
Even more important is our view of the universe. If there is no God, then our ultimate fate really is "carved in stone." Finitude, human fallibility, mortality and the law of entropy will eventually prevail.
But with God, every moment becomes different.
With God, the lid is off the terrarium.
"With God," as Jesus said "all things are possible."
It is this mindset that made Joshua and Caleb see possibilities where 10 other spies saw only giant roadblocks.
It is this mindset that caused David see an opponent too big to miss, while everyone else saw one too big to hit.
What's wrong with them?
It was ultimately this understanding of how things are that allowed Jesus to go to a cross knowing that stones and death can't block the God of the resurrection.
Call is a "Resurrection Mindset."
Every day, in my life and yours, we face challenges too big for our little abilities. How can I say something new or significant in a sermon? How can the vision of a church be compelling? Where will we find the resources for our dreams? How can a conflict get resolved with honesty and courage?
Without God, every day in ministry is dependent on my little store of resources, and is a declaration of my inadequacy and insignificance.
But with God, it's another story.
Maybe, just maybe, God keeps throwing us in over our heads in the hopes that we will realize that our souls, like our bodies, are buoyant when his breath fills them.
Copyright © 2011 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.