Saturday, 21 December 2013

Passion in Action

Sweet Thunder! is going to roll again.

 Many of you are participating in a passion project for class, and some of those projects are things that you'd be doing anyway, even if no course credit was involved. I love that. All of us work and play outside of school--passionately I hope. We've been discussing the intersection of talent, passion, and faith, and how these things can move beyond theory and into practice. Well, here's my example: The Cycle of Giving.

The Cycle of Giving is a yearly event put on by The WRENCH (Winnipeg Repair, Education, and Cycling Hub) that brings together volunteers to reclaim bikes from the landfill, rebuild them, and give them to community children for Christmas. You can read about this year's event in the Free Press, here.

I'm an amateur bike mechanic. Learning to repair and build my own bikes started as a personal passion project and has developed into a handy skill and a lifestyle/hobby. So, it was cool and humbling to rub shoulders with so many other mechanics, most of whom were far more skilled than I am. I'm still learning.
Tools of the trade (admittedly in a bit of disarray).
Parts, parts, and...

...more parts for rebuilds and recycling (pun intended).
My faith includes a deep concern for people and the communities we live in, including the state of our environments, both urban and global. The Cycle of Giving allowed me to combine my talent, passion, and faith. I helped prevent 900 bikes from ending up in the landfill. Children (250+ children!) received bikes for Christmas and a connection to a local bike program. I worked with people from a variety of faiths and worldviews with whom I had at least one common connection, a starting point for relationship and community.

Call it community-building or earth-keeping; call me an image-bearer or a mechanic in God's kingdom. Call it what you like, but it is what a life of faith is about--using the passion and talents God has given to improve relationships, communities, and the environment in His name. It was a blessing to be a small part of it, and I pray the blessings will spread exponentially through the families and their communities.
As good as new!
Mechanic rebuilt, tested, and approved. Now, off to a home with a proper-sized rider.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Inspired and Inspiring Projects

This first round of passion projects has been a learning process for all of us, so I thought I'd start this post (my first in a long time) with some quotes that are inspiring me.
"Have you ever realized that it sometimes doesn't matter how much you feel like doing something? Sometimes, you're just not that great at it. But...greatness requires practice." ~Bryanne
"If any of you fellow people have heard of the magic school bus, you would know Mrs. Frizzle always says "Get messy, take chances, make mistakes!" and that's what I want to do." ~Hannah
Douglas Karr
Learning involves mistakes and practice. Education is a messy business, filled with winding paths and false starts as we find ways to learn and grow. However, it sometimes feels like mistake is a bad word in school, so bad that things like play, brainstorm, and experiment have also become risky instead of fun and full of potential to learn. Based on several of your projects, Hannah, Bryanne, and many more of you have not completely forgotten that messy mistakes can sometimes be great discoveries if you're paying attention.

If you've been a slow starter when it comes to your passion project, take heart. Learn from your mistakes. Don't let fear of failure keep you from starting or restarting. Start. Don't know where you're going? Don't worry. When it comes to learning, the journey is just as important as the destination. Take the first step. Start.