In Others’ Words: Alive

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman, theologian

My friend, Lindsay Harrel, shared this quote with me.

Now when I say Lindsay is my friend, I must confess we haven’t met. Yet. We’ve connected via the Internet. For all the times I’ve bemoaned how social media can be overwhelming, there are times it can be so rewarding.

Case in point: When you connect with someone — when you go beyond commenting to connecting.

Lindsay had this to say about the quote she shared: This quote is such a good reminder that God made us with certain passions and gifts. Instead of simply looking for work that needs doing, we should look at the areas in which He’s gifted us and look for ways to use that gift. If everyone was able to do what he/she was passionate about, then this world would be a better place, since those who love the Lord would be serving Him in the ways that come most naturally to them. It’s just like the Bible says: “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Cor. 12:18).

For more of Lindsay’s thoughts on this quote, she blogged about it back in October 2011 in a post titled “Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, Stayin’ Alive” on her blog The Mustard Seed.

In Your Words: I’ll ask the question for you: What makes you come alive? Are you doing it? If not, why not? Is there one thing you can do today to make yourself more alive?

Commentors and followers of In Others’ Words: Would you share your favorite quotes with me? It would be fun to highlight them in future blog posts. Email me at [email protected]

photo by GrindcoreD/
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  1. November 21, 2011, 8:00 am   /  Reply

    When I’m writing, whether it’s flowing or not, I am doing what I am passionate about. While I like to have written, I also like the writing process itself. I truly believe God gifted me with this passion and I truly do want to share it with others.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 21, 2011, 8:29 am   /  Reply

      I completely understand, Pat.
      Writing is the one thing I’m willing to get back at, even if I hated it the day before.
      Well, that and marriage.

  2. Loree Huebner
    November 21, 2011, 8:03 am   /  Reply

    Writing makes me come alive.

    Oddly, also fishing and gardening. I think it’s because I feel close to God’s earth when I do those things.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 21, 2011, 8:28 am   /  Reply

      Um, this black-thumbed woman doesn’t feel alive gardening, but I admire people who do! 🙂
      I love to go fishing–and by that I mean I love to go and watch my family fish! Really.
      But I love to hike. That’s a great way to be outdoors.

  3. November 21, 2011, 8:11 am   /  Reply

    That is an awesome quote! Definitely one to write out on the marker board on my fridge.

    I think stories in general make me come alive – reading, watching, writing. Especially stories which resonate with Truth, either directly or indirectly. Which is why I’m working at this writing thing like crazy.

    But I’ve also been wondering about life in general, lately, and if I’m really doing what most makes me, as you say, come alive…and if I need to think bigger, riskier…I don’t know…LOL.

    But either way, I love that quote. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      November 21, 2011, 8:27 am   /  Reply

      I agree, Melissa. This quote makes me think: Am I doing what makes me come alive? Or am I doing a bunch of “shoulds?”
      And, yes, writing makes me feel alive … it’s one of the things I do where I feel God’s pleasure (indirectly quoting Olympic runner Eric Liddell.)

  4. Jeanne
    November 21, 2011, 9:26 am   /  Reply

    What a wonderful quote! So, if something doesn’t make me feel alive, then does that mean I shouldn’t do it? 🙂 Like housework? 🙂 Just kidding. My honey wouldn’t support me in following this dream of writing if I wasn’t also doing things that keep our home running smoothly. Or somewhat smoothly.

    Writing makes me feel alive. Singing worship songs does the same, especially when this follows a difficult hour or day. Scrapbooking, hiking, having a tickle fest with one of the kids. These all make me feel alive. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      November 21, 2011, 10:00 am   /  Reply

      Ah, now there’s a thought … that would me I wouldn’t do filing. Wait. I don’t.
      Having family and friends around — another thing that makes me feel alive. This weekend family filled the house and had an impromptu “let’s make Christmas ornaments” fest!

  5. November 21, 2011, 1:33 pm   /  Reply

    I’m so glad to count you as a friend, Beth! And hopefully we’ll get to meet at a conference or something this upcoming year.

  6. November 21, 2011, 1:45 pm   /  Reply

    Worship has always been the one thing that draws me out of my skin. And before I started writing, my heart felt most alive during these intimate times of song and praise. Seeking a creative outlet in writing has opened my heart in many ways. Most of which is how penning these stories of redemption and grace has become an act of worship. In these quiet moments, curled up with my laptop, I feel God’s presence so strongly, the words he pours through my hands minister to my heart, and if feels as though he is teaching me to let go and listen.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 21, 2011, 6:19 pm   /  Reply

      Amy, It sound like you most definitely come alive when you are writing!

  7. Ruth A. Douthitt
    November 21, 2011, 1:54 pm   /  Reply

    Lindsay is my friend, too! Isn’t she great? What makes me come alive is using my talents to serve the Lord. I didn’t begin doing this until 1997 when I starting painting portraits of friends’ children. When I saw how happy my work could make people, I knew then and there why the Lord had given me a talent for painting and drawing.

    Now that I write, I pray the Lord will use my stories to further His message. I found back in 2004 that writing for His purpose changes everything. So, my books will always be for Him…and if others like them too, well, that’s just another perk.


    • Beth Vogt
      November 21, 2011, 6:19 pm   /  Reply

      I must confess, I’m a bit envious of your ability to paint portraits. That’s an amazing talent!

  8. November 21, 2011, 8:15 pm   /  Reply

    This is so timely Beth. That quote really speaks to me.
    I am doing the Chazown study right now. That Hebrew word means your vision, purpose and dream that God made you for. Just in yesterday’s study we did a spiritual gifts assessment. I was so surprised that writing came up as one of them on mine. And like some of the commenters before me music and creativity are very closely linked to that. It was so encouraging to know God planned this for me. It is not just me.
    A quote the author of the Chazown study uses is “Everyone ends up somewhere. Few people end up somewhere on purpose.” That means a lot to me as a writer.
    I encourage everyone to try the Chazown project. It will help you narrow down exactly what God has planned for you to do – being the ‘you’ He created you to be.
    (I have a link on my blog at the post titled write-on-purpose-over-and-over-again.)

    Be who God made you to be … on purpose.

    Thanks Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      November 21, 2011, 8:28 pm   /  Reply

      So intrigued by the study you mentioned. Will definitely be checking it out.

  9. November 21, 2011, 10:17 pm   /  Reply

    My first response, an almost automatic one, would be to say I feel alive when I’m writing. However, a recent diagnosis of osteoporosis brought about necessary changes in my lifestyle. I’m now working out 3x a week and walking the other days. As a result, my answer has changed. I feel fulfilled when I’m writing, but I feel alive when I’m exercising. For someone who balked at the idea prior to my diagnosis, this change in outlook is a God-thing, and I’m giving Him thanks for my new perspective.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 21, 2011, 11:13 pm   /  Reply

      It’s true that more than one thing can make us feel alive. And it’s never too late to discover something new!

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