In Their Element

November 12, 2009

Have you ever had the opportunity to watch someone close to you be “in his/her element”?  Watching someone you care about do something they love and they are good at is always so invigorating for me to witness. 

This morning, I had the opportunity to watch my husband, Chris, give a presentation at a conference.  While the topic is still something I am trying to get my head around, I thoroughly enjoyed watching him talk about something that mattered to him.  There was an energy that came from him both during and after his presentation.   I kept thinking the whole time, “He is good at this, AND he loves what he is doing!” 

Chris took a risk a couple of years ago to follow a deep desire he had to teach.  He could not ignore the nag he had about being a teacher.  His prior career he was good at, and he enjoyed, but he did not have the passion and excitement about it the way he does working towards his Ph.D.  He loves everything about the teaching and research aspect of his new field. 

It was an incredible moment for me to watch!  It was a moment where I was watching someone do what they are meant to do.  When I watch someone “in their element”, I always feel like I am witnessing the Spirit alive in our world.  There is such joy and excitement and passion that comes forth from that person that it impacts you!

In ways, watching Chris today reminded of Mother Teresa’s saying of “Find your own Calcutta.”  In no way am I comparing what Chris did today to the amazing work that Mother Teresa did in India.  However, I believe that Chris has found his passion much like Mother Teresa found hers.  Chris may not be called to the streets of Calcutta, but he is called to teach others.  He is called to share knowledge and challenge people to think.  He is on his path…the path that works for him that uses all the gifts and individual characteristics that God gave him.  When he lives out this calling, there is fire in his eyes!

When witnessing a moment like I did today, I believe it begs us to ask these questions of ourselves:
1.  What are my passions?
2.  Do I have the courage to live my passion and calling out?
3. Am I using the individual gifts that God gave me?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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  1. Jennifer


    While taking a few seconds away from my school work to virtually reconnect with people, I came across your blog. Your entries are beautiful and I’m glad that such goodness is in the world. Have a great day!

    Jennifer (Webb)

  2. Chris

    Thank you for the kind words, Becky. The moment was exhilirating enough for me, and it was so awesome that you were able to be there to share it with me. Thank you for supporting me through this crazy life in academics — I love you!



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