I realised that I hadn't done an actual post about my experience of Impart itself. So I thought that I would do that.
For those of you who don't know about Impart, think of it as an intensive one year Bible college course, merged with a spiritual formation/personal development type thing, and you'll be in the right frame of mind. I only realised that it was actually Bible college proper after I was half-way through the first intensive. So I can actually say that I'm going to Bible college, even though I have a grand total of four weeks of teaching. ;) There's ten of us, I'm pretty sure, plus the people that are taking us through it. So it's a small group, but that's the idea - to be a community together.
But one of the biggest things we did in Impart - and, indeed, one of the first things we did - was a unit called Spiritual Formation. And this essentially looked like sharing our life stories. Except slightly condensed, because of how many of us there were. So we were told about 10-15 minutes, but people typically went to about 20-25. But that was cool. And it wasn't about giving your testimony, or telling the success story of your career. It was about being honest about where you were at; what you were really struggling with, where God was really challenging you, how you were really hurting. And then we'd affirm and encourage each other in that.
And that was an incredible, amazing experience. First of all, it was really freeing to be able to share in that space, where there was no condemnation or disapproval; and secondly, it was amazing being uplifted and encouraged by the other guys in the group, and relating to their stories as well.
Something I found that I thought was interesting, is the definition of the word 'impart'. I just looked it up on dictionary.com, and it came up with this:
verb (used with object)
to make known; tell; relate; disclose: to impart a secret.
to give; bestow; communicate: to impart knowledge.
to grant a part or share of.
verb (used without object)
to grant a part or share; give.
1425–75; late Middle English < Latin impartīre to share.
The big thing is about sharing, giving, relating to others. And that's really what's been so great about the experience for me so far; both in terms of what others, and God, have imparted to me, as well as what I've been able to impart to others. And I think it's really important to always remember that it is a two-way street; it's a relationship, not a transaction. You don't just take what you need; you give back where you can, and not just because you feel you need to, but because you want to. That's true relationship.
Anyway, that's enough from me for now.
As a side note, Andrew, a good friend of mine, just mentioned my last post here: http://www.perspectivesfromthepeak.com/keeping-it-clean/ Which is pretty awesome :D