Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wisdom from Callie Roos

I met Callie in South Africa a few years ago. he was my guide on a safari into the veldt (african bush) and i learned a lot from him about how not to get eaten (Callie is a master survivalist). i have referred to him, from time to time, in some of my sermon illustrations at westwinds and there is a section of the forthcoming "shadowing god" book devoted to adapting his tracking principles to spiritual formation.

i asked Callie to describe his principles for me so i could include his teaching directly in the atlas, but he caught the flu and was unable to get the stuff to me in time. it's great stuff, though, so i thought i'd post it here:

I guess as part of the introduction one wants to ‘play’ with the tension between a complete system (mechanistically) and the intuitive gut as the tracker will always operate within this tension. This is what trackers do: they bring two worlds into one – on the one hand the micro world of detail analytical logic steps but then also the integration of all senses related to listening, awareness, interpretation, reading the signs, picking up the vibe / energy and trust your instinct into one. I guess as humans we should also be good at this. We embrace uncertainty as much as we embrace certainty in our faith. We are more spiritual than anything else and this awareness is also true of the tracker trying to find his rhythm in the journey of following a trail.

5 OnTrack Principles

1. Stand Square on the track

This principle reminds me of die intelligence of possibility. It challenges me to ask if it was at all possible for us to ‘be on track’ with life’s journey. It challenges my past programming and asks the question but what if I was loaded up the wrong software up to now. In other words things related to my self-concept, my understanding of this planet and God’s will for us, my role in allowing God to express him through me etc. This principle helps me to think of myself as special (Col 1-3) – a new identity – a kingdom player that goes way beyond what the church is busy with most of the time. It is about relevance and it is all possible (Rom 12:1-2)

2. Look up!

This principle is the momentum one. We need momentum. The slogan of my business ‘advance to significance’ is embedded in here. It is here that I would also try and introduce the importance of purpose and where to look for it. For me it is to be found in the ‘other’ whatever this would mean to anyone. I would also argue that our purpose is not to glorify God but that God will only be glorified if I acknowledge the uniqueness of my own journey and understand that I have a unique design of that person that I was meant to be and when this happens God will be glorified.

3. Don’t let your eyes wander

It is all about energy. You have so much of it? In the wilds people die because they are not thinking. However, two things will take up all your energy in the wilds: guilt (how did I get into this mess, loose the ‘spoor / track’) and fear. It is about focus then – how to stay on track with your vision and not get derailed as this will happen with most people most of the time.

4. Follow the obvious route

What does it mean to allow the spirit to guide you with the ‘how’ of life? Well I guess that life will teach you all these wonderful lessons – so when will we start learning. Again it is the intuitive gut and trust. A daring culture where we challenge our own comfort zone. Guess we were created for this.

5. Stop & reflect

Life’s no 1 lesson. We don’t do this. We are always too busy. Too much pressure. Too much noise in the system. Just not brave enough to call time. We need to lead the rest of the world when it comes to calmness and our ability to reflect on reality. I guess this is what this principle is all about. Point is that we can come back with new strategies for life and we ought to be good at this (the entrepreneurial spirit). We lead the rest – but do we?

Hope this helps to get you going on some of it.

Thanks, Callie - you're a dude. Check out Shadowing God through or, available September 12/2010.

1 comment:

  1. Loved this message but being a head person, have to be cautious about reasoning away the promptings of the Holy Spirit; I've done that a few times resulting in dire consequences. Lori tsutsui