Donald Snyder was a non-tenured teacher at Colgate University and student-voted to be the best teacher in the literature department. But recessions are unkind to untenured teachers. When a man loses his profession, terrible things happen to him and Snyder experienced them. Several months into his unemployment, Snyder packed up his books—all of them—and his teaching notes and took them to the dump. He was the first one in line that morning.
“Whatcha got there?”
“An old life,” Snyder said.
The gatekeeper looked into the garbage bags and sent him to a smoldering bonfire where Snyder threw in one book at a time. An old life.
How does a person experience deep change? Is it even possible? Of course I believe it is or I wouldn’t bother. But how? What is the path? What strategies? With a pastor’s calling, I wonder how to involve people in the change process.
All of this is connected to Gordon MacDonald’s line—“I did not acquire….” Michael Hyatt used the phrase “Invisible barriers” the other day. Such barriers cut our motivation and instill self-limiting behavior and destructive decisions.
The ex-Colgate prof was out of work and increasingly deeper into depression for a couple of years. He kept track of budget and savings to protect his family from poverty. The turning point for him was when he emptied their checking account to give to a poor family. He went to work the next day.
There is a way out of the “old life.”
Discovering & Developing the I’m Possible Life
- Uncover the invisible barriers. Michael Hyatt suggested “I’m too old,” “I’m too young.”
- Invest in something and/or someone.
- Decide and write in detail—what you want, where you are right now and what will be required to get from here to there?
Here are some tools I see the Quest House using in the fall:
- Read and work through the first 50 pages of Restoring the Christian Soul by Leanne Payne. Her research and experience says self-rejection is the major cause of personal underachievement and is the number barrier to a healthy relationship with God.
- Read and process the first 30-40 pages of Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly.
- Jeff Goins’ new book The Art of Work—“A Proven Path to Discovering what you were meant to do.” So many of my mentors are pushing this book. It is an easy and helpful read.
- Think through the current edition of Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.
- One chapter of Proverbs each day.
About an hour each day. We have to fight for our hearts. We have to fight for growth. The normal life will eat every ounce of energy and every second of time. There are no left-overs. This new life will require your willingness to fight for you—The I’m Possible! Life.
Gordon MacDonald says, “I doubt that we can ever learn the deep lessons of…character without a community around us.”
A few of us will read the books in this curriculum and move forward. Most of us, however, need one more element—a group with whom we talk about what we are reading—how the material affects us. How and where or deep change is taking place in us and where the absence is disappointing. That is why we value The Quest House—the Community You’ve Always Wanted.
Watch for Fall 2015 group schedule and online plans. May I answer questions?
©2015 D. Dean Benton http://www.bentonministries.com/ .