It took more than fifteen months to finally find the mission statement for Project 1827–talking to Cara Gilger after an episode of Two on One, she said, “If you don’t have your act together by forty, things get rough.”
So the purpose of Project 1827 is to get my act together before or on my fortieth birthday, which will be September 3, 2024. It is not far away.
So, the way I see it, there are seven parts of self.
Body. Soul. Mind. Spirit. Heart. Community. World.
In Luke 10, Jesus Christ is asked what the greatest commandment is, and he says in verse 27, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27, NIV).
- Body is how I’m choosing to interpret strength–I have a physical body. It is made in God’s image, just like my soul and mind and spirit. I need to take care of it. There’s plenty to be said about diet and exercise, and there certainly will be, following.
- Mind is the pursuit of knowledge and cultivation of wisdom. I like thinking; if I’m not careful, I live inside my head (and also in the future). Finding diverse voices to be in dialogue with, discovering and diving into things that challenge my assumptions and comfort, and reading (because I like reading) are all ways to love God with one’s mind.
- Soul is depth of self, while Spirit is one’s connection to God. I’m not saying they’re really distinct, right? Playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends feeds my soul; reading five daily Psalms feeds my spirit. I don’t believe that which I do that feeds my soul is non-spiritual, per se; I definitely do not suggest that spiritual practice is somehow reserved only for the glory of God and has no impact on one’s inner life. Just, roll with me on this, please.
- Spirit is the height of self, the brushing up against (or really, standing tall in the ground of being) with God. Study and prayer cultivate understanding and grace that can be spent all day long, as I’ve discovered in 2020, and plan to continue to learn in 2021.
- Heart is the application of a teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount–for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I know three people who have very healthy hearts in terms of their finances and their relationship with money. I don’t think my relationship with money is healthy, but I’m certainly not guarding my heart, nor sharing it in ways that are most beneficial to others nor my family nor myself.
- Community is people in groups. It’s more local than I wish, focusing on Riverside-Midtown, and Wichita, and Kansas, but we cannot survive if we are a collection of individuals. We must participate in community, grow in community, and serve in community.
- World is creation care. God so loves this world. We are actively destroying this planet. There’s a disconnect in there.
Being able to name these seven parts, and doing a really rather thorough evaluation of what I think I value, and what I actually value (by participating in it), I set some reasonable and crazy goals for 40 (that is, September 2024) and for this calendar year, 2021. Keep following along to see if you can guess what’s madness and what’s possible.