A few days ago our youngest child asked his girlfriend of two years (who has been his best friend for five years) to marry him. So as to not kill you with suspense she said “Yes.” Now they are engaged. It’s a commitment to marry that person, to spend the rest of your life with them. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…you know the deal. I have to say that Sally and I could not be more pleased! She is a wonderful woman of God and they love the Lord and each other dearly. It’s a great event and to be celebrated. Eventually they will be married and carry out a lifetime commitment.
This Section Has a Point
Did you ever have an epiphany? You know, a moment of incredible clarity that just took almost all of the aspects of your present existence and brought them together into one great, glorious and shining whole. That happened to me recently. I learned two things from this particular epiphany. 1) Epiphanies are not always meant to show you something pretty. 2) I apparently quit everything without finishing.
The Revelation to (not) Saint Troy
Well, I don’t quit everything, because if that were true I would not be qualified to write this blog. More specifically I apparently have a habit of self-sabotage that causes me to get terribly excited about a new life direction, I go crazy learning about it for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 years, put in a little action, then give up. It’s great fun. You should try it sometime. Oh, wait. Based on stories from friends you may have already tried it. How sad for you (and me).
Confirmation of the Problem
This doesn’t necessarily manifest itself the same way for every person. Let’s walk through some examples and see if any ring true. Did you ever get on a weight loss plan and quit without reaching your goal? Or reach your goal and then gain some (or all) of the weight back? Perhaps you have a half written book. Did you start college or a post-graduate degree and it remains unfinished? Is there part of a jigsaw puzzle on your ping pong table next to the clean folded towels? If I looked in your garage would there be random pieces of wood that were once supposed to be a new deck or even an end table? Yep, you have the disease as well.
A Small Out
Let me ease things for you a bit. Some projects are not supposed to be finished. There are occasions where Sally and I started something and got a little bit in and knew it just wasn’t for us. There were other times when things went well for a while and then God moved things in another direction. When these kinds of events happen then it’s ok to cut your losses, learn the lesson and move on. IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not a license to give up on your marriage. I’m strictly talking about other areas here. But for areas where we need to cross the finish line there has to be a way to make it happen and to do so consistently.
It’s Time for Us to Get Engaged
The simple solution is to get engaged. To fully commit to the end goal. Recently Jon Acuff wrote a blog post titled The 4 types of non-fiction books. (And which kind to read more of in 2015.) I recommend you check it out…after finishing this post of course. In the blog Jon indicates there are four types of non-fiction books (hence the title). I won’t steal all of Jon’s thunder, but the 4th type is “The books you engage with.” What the article revealed to me (which I already knew deep down) is that I have a couple of shelves filled with fantastic books, but I haven’t really engaged with any of them.
My Engagement Commitment
I’ve made a commitment to fully engage with one of these books and have already enjoyed wonderful communication with the author. A New York Times Best-Selling author I might add. Sometimes if you reach out they will respond. But if you don’t ask the answer will always be no. The author appreciated my story and commitment so much that he sent me a free copy of his brand new book. FYI if you are looking for a way to find your life’s passion in work then I highly recommend purchasing a copy of the book yourself, it is 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller. Make sure you get the 10th Anniversary Edition. Love it and Dan’s podcast. Plus he and his wife of 47 years, Joanne, were recently featured on Episode 5 of the Confessions of a Terrible Husband podcast.
Wrapping It Up
The issue of being fully engaged can be related to any area of life and marriage. Recently a friend mentioned to me that he needed to pray with his wife more. That is certainly a great place to get engaged. In fact it’s so important I admitted my own failure in that specific area before I got engaged in it. Take a little time to look over your life. Find areas that are taking valuable time away from your spouse and family. Cut them loose and let them go. Then find areas that could help those relationships grow. Just focus on one or two. Then take one simple step. Commit to getting fully engaged.
Love you all!