J. Michael Straczynski had established himself in Hollywood. Everyday, he contributed to different TV shows in a number of ways, including that of a scriptwriter. One day, the idea of a “novel for television,” of a five-year saga concerning a space station, struck him. Suddenly, his former success wasn’t enough for him. So, even though a Sci-fi series on this level had never been attempted on American television, he sketched out the broad strokes of his idea, and embarked on the long and difficult process of trying to sell it to the major studios. After he finally sold the series to Warner Brothers, and won the right to serve as its executive producer, this was only the beginning of his work on Babylon 5. Throughout the entire series run, he would oversee every aspect of the show’s production, including writing most of the scripts, to ensure that the vision he had conceived reached its fullest potential on our screens. He even spent time regularly traveling to Science Fiction conventions, personally answering fan mail, and interacting with fans though the burgeoning power of the Internet.
A woman at my mother’s church, let’s call her Ms. Milton, felt so affected by the shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, that she could not dispel the conflicting emotions and questions raised by the incident. She wondered how and why the event took place, but came up with no satisfactory answers. Finally, she started writing a poem, and by the time she finished it, found she had brokered a partial peace in her heart between the event's physical reality and its spiritual implications. This last Sunday, she shared the poem with her congregation, in the hopes that it would help others similarly affected by the tragedy.
Another couple at the church, let’s call them Mr. and Mrs. Credit, once served as missionaries. To celebrate his ninetieth birthday, they sold an old trailer they no longer used, and visited a church in South Africa they had once ministered in. Mrs. Credit shared with the congregation that, while in college, their denomination rejected them as candidates for their missionary program. So the couple opened themselves to any organizations that would send them to the mission field. They sacrificed in every area of their lives, always scrambling to fund their endeavors. But because they operated as independent, “Faith Missionaries,” they visited more countries and ministered to more disparate groups than they could have, had they been enjoyed the more secure funding from one denomination. They may be retired now, but the couple donated the proceeds from the sale to the South African church’s building program, in the hopes that the congregation could more effectively serve their community.
|A gift from the Credits, to remind us of Africa,|
and the importance of following our calling
with A Sense of Mission.
Mrs. Credit offered this advice: pursue your passion today, where you live. Don’t wait on fate or circumstance, or an invitation from anyone. Whether your calling leads you, like the Credits, to missionary service, like J. Michael Straczynski, to helm a TV program, or like Ms. Milton, to tackle smaller (but no less important) tasks such as writing the occasional poem, follow your calling. What is your passion in life? Do you feel a sense of mission: that what you wish to accomplish is not only important to you, but to others as well? Whatever it is, I wish you all the success in the world, as you determine, and then pursue your project with the sense of mission that it deserves.