The River of ‘Me’…a post by Jim

Rivers are amazing. They can snake their way through a mountainous terrain or flow straight through level land. They can be deep and fast flowing or shallow and slow. Each seems to have its own personality.

Rivers provide a great metaphor (if that is the correct figure of speech) for our souls. We each have a personality that displays itself in various ways depending on the surrounding terrain.

I think of it this way. The river of me has two main contributing streams. There is the stream of my DNA, my wiring displayed in my personality. The second stream is my family of origin. The two streams come together to form the ‘me’ that i am and how I will navigate the terrain of my relationships.

The value of the Enneagram is that it helps identify the DNA God gave me that contributes to my personality. It shows me my strengths and the vulnerabilities that my wiring gives me. Both my strengths and my vulnerabilities can be magnified or diminished by the relational world of my family of origin. The value of a Life Map shows me the effects of those early influences on my personality. A Life Map (where I write the events that I lived, the emotions I felt during those events, and the interpretation I gave to what I felt) helps me see both my wounds and my solidity of soul.

God is honored as we embrace the river of who we are. He uses it to love others well. So let the water of your soul flow freely and deeply, graciously and generously, with receptivity and vulnerability.

Treasure stumble…a post by Tom

“Where you stumble, there your treasure lies.”- Joseph Campbell

“…but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” -1 Cor 1:23

It seems like much of life is endless energy spend avoiding the failures. Avoiding the stumbling. Avoiding the humiliations. Yet the gospel reveals to us that it is in the very place of our stumbling that we encounter God! The enneagram is a great tool to reveal to us where we stumble…and where our treasure is! Consider the following a treasure hunt.

For the reformer types (ONES) our stumbling block is the anger and resentment over all the imperfections. The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of serenity.

For the helper types (TWOS) our stumbling block is the pride of thinking we have no needs because we are meeting everyone else’s. The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of humility honoring our limitations.

For the achiever types (THREES) our stumbling block is the deceitfulness of making things seem better than they are in order to accomplish and look good. The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of authenticity and genuine honesty about ourselves and reality.

For the individualist romantics (FOURS) our stumbling block is the envy with others when someone else has something more refined or creative to offer. The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of accepting life just as it is.

For the wise investigators (FIVES) our stumbling block is the greed for more and more knowledge and personal privacy. The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of a non attached space where we neither cling or avoid.

For the loyalists (SIXES) our stumbling block is the fear over all the things that could go wrong and probably will go wrong! The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of courageously awaking and taking our stand in the jungle of life.

For the enthusiasts (SEVENS) our stumbling block is the gluttony for new and better options. The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of a sober joy even with life’s difficulties.

For the asserters (EIGHTS) our stumbling block is the shameless addiction to intensity without boundaries. The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of mercy.

For the peacemakers (NINES) our stumbling block is the slothful lack of focused energy. The gospel reveals the invitation to change this energy into the treasure of decisive action.

God isn’t surprised by our vices.  Why should we be?  Let’s seize the opportunity to use our stumbling to find the treasure of virtue.