Stop Reinventing the Wheel

In the late 90’s/early 2000’s I was frustrated with life.  If you’ve read my book or blogs or listened to my podcasts you know that I describe this season as “smoldering discontent:” My marriage was fine. The kids were healthy. Work was good but not great. I had some close friends. I loved living in Colorado.  But something was missing.

I distinctly remember thinking to myself:  “I’ve been on this planet almost 40 years. Why am I trying to reinvent the wheel of figuring out how life really works?” I was humbled enough to admit that maybe I was a “know-it-all.” (Something 3 people I respect in my life have accused me of: Once as a teenager. Once in college. Once as an adult. Those words stung because there is more than a shred of truth in them.)

The bottom line is that I was broken enough to admit I was stumped on cracking the code for joyful living.  So I went on a quest for wisdom.  I started reading history books and revisited the classics of English and American literature.  I started reading biographies of great people. I read more philosophy.  And, I put myself on a self-study regimen of the world’s religions.

At that time, I read a book by John Wooden – the legendary coach of UCLA who won 13 NCAA basketball championships.  One of his life principles was “Drink deeply from great books.  Especially the bible.”

And so I did.  I started spending time with gracious and patient friends who understood the bible well (that thing can be confusing at first!!)  Things started to change in my head at first and then in my heart. I came to recognize the practical, spiritual, psychological, marital, financial, and social wisdom of God and Jesus. What started as an intellectual journey morphed into a spiritual reality.

And so here I am at age 53.  At risk of being a know-it-all again. I have to stay humble and hungry for God’s Truth.  I want to learn from godly 80-year olds who could look at my life and say: “Jeff, you’re still missing the point when it comes to _______.”

So what are my commitments?

1.      “Drink deeply from great books, especially the bible”

2.      “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

3.      “Stay humble and hungry for Truth.”

“Fear (awe, reverence and appreciation) of God is the beginning of wisdom.”  Proverbs 9:10