1. Back in the Saddle – After a two month break, the ‘long form’ of my blog will be back next week. It has been a good couple of months, but August and September stand in stark contrast to one another. In August, I had the opportunity to take a two week road trip with my family, covering more than 6,200 kilometers up to the Yukon and back. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like I had some space to think, dream, and not worry about who was driving the kids to soccer practice or what meetings were scheduled in the week ahead. My wife and I got to talk about big things and it was incredible to share the adventure with my kids.
September was back to school, work ramping up, and coordinating schedules – back to reality. It is easy to complain about being busy, but having a full life can be a blessing. At the same time, the busyness of life offers the opportunity to re-examine priorities and the places we are investing our time and energy.
I look forward to sharing some of my takeaways from our road trip next week.
2. Searching for a Way of Living – Over the last month, the team at Wild at Heart has put out a series of podcast episodes that tie in with the rhythm-of-life theme, and I found them very challenging. As someone who often finds myself overcommitted and at a loss for margin, the series gave me some very practical recommendations on how to craft a way of life that is both fruitful and sustaining.
I would encourage you to check out the series, but for me it comes down to one question: Am I doing life with God or on my own? When I look at my life experiences, the times in which I tried to be self-reliant and carry out my plan under my own strength are the times I have struggled the most. Conversely, when Jesus is at the center, the biggest challenges in life have become bearable and even amidst the raging storms, there is peace.
It is a question I revisit constantly, but by eliminating things that steal life from me and adding in simple, regular practices that bring more life, I find greater joy and more lasting peace.
3. 20 Seconds of Insane Courage – Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend
a men’s retreat THE Men’s Retreat, which I have referenced often, and wrote about my previous experience here. Though there were many things I took away from the weekend, one question that haunted me was this: What would life look like if I wasn’t afraid of failure?
We Bought a Zoo does not come the top of mind when we think about inspirational movies, but in the film, Matt Damon’s character shares with his son that most challenges in life can be faced by finding enough courage to get through the gate and into the Arena. I often let big moments pass me by, my brain spinning with analysis, considering all the things that could go wrong. In the moments when I have found the courage to overcome my fear of failure or looking stupid, I have experienced the joy of overcoming and growth in true character.
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