Thursday, August 18th, 2011
In case you weren’t yet reading my blog back in December of 2010, my wife and I moved to Alabama to be close to family just a few weeks after our son Jack was born. Somewhere between being brave and outrageous, we made the move with no jobs lined up. It took four months for me to find a job, only to have to move back to Nashville four months later because we couldn’t financially make things work.
I especially remember those first couple of months while we were living off savings and no new income, praying to God, “I trust in You to provide for my family and when You do, I’ll make it obvious to everyone that it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with You.” After all, this was what we called our “God-nudged leap of faith,” trading in financial security in Nashville to be closer to family back in my hometown.
So surely God would make it possible for us to remain there. We had uprooted our lives and started over- for a very good cause with pure intentions and for the “right reasons.”
I admit it seemed at least a little bit ironic when after labeling our move as a “God-nudged leap of faith,” that we would just ultimately end up back in Nashville, having to start back over yet again.
But this week I started reading a book that helped me grasp a much clearer understanding of what really happened; why the move was so necessary for us and despite much confusion on our end, why it was what was supposed to happen.
In Peter Buffet’s book Life is What You Make It, he tells about a guy who changed his major nearly every semester in college: from engineering, to physics, to math, to art, to architecture, then finally, he realized his calling was to be an urban planner. Finally, he had found where he needed to be- but it took several “wrong turns” to get there. It was a graduated learning process; a concept that sounds way too familiar to me.
I love the way Buffett sums it up:
“So– was this fellow “lost” during the years of his academic wanderings? Or was he following a path that was not yet visible but that was nonetheless leading him where he was meant to go?”
It would have been nice if we could have just already known what we know now; without sacrificing our savings, our jobs, and all the effort it took to move away from and then back to, so that we could learn A) how to manage our money much better, B) be much more thankful for the jobs we had to begin with, and C) that the city of Nashville needs our gifts and abilities more than any other city in the world right now.
Taking it a step further, Parents.com picked up my blog right in the middle of all this. I take that to mean that another reason I was destined to experience all this was to use my gift of communication in order to share the story with others who need to hear it, from the perspective of a random, yet focused, guy like me.
So did my God-nudged leap of faith pan out in the end? Or did He leave me hanging? After all, he provided a job only long enough to survive for a few more months but not long enough to logically justify us moving there.
It’s clear to me now: The only way we could have learned what we needed to know was by following a path that was not yet visible but that was nonetheless leading us where we were meant to go.
I am a huge fan of Peter Buffet’s New York Times best-seller, Life is What You Make It. In fact, it’s the kind of book that I’m almost jealous of for not having written myself. He thinks along the same patterns as I do. That being said, today I am proudly giving away the book to one lucky reader.
Since there is only one copy for the book giveaway this time, I’m making it a bit more challenging than usual: Be the first person to leave a comment correctly telling me which Internet fad landed my son on the desk of late night talk show host of Conan O’Brien. You have to also give me your mailing address either in the comment or send it to me via email: email@example.com.
(Every time I do a book giveaway there is at least one person who loses their gift to the next person because they don’t actually give me their mailing address.)
As for the rest of you who don’t actually win a free copy of Life is What You Make It, it is totally worth getting your hands on. To further entice you, I want to share the names of the chapters of the book. Again, I’m jealous- many of them would have made really good titles for Dadabase posts had I thought of them first!
2. No one deserves anything
3. The myth of the level playing field
4. The (mixed) blessing of choice
5. The mystery of vocation
6. Buying time
7. Don’t just find your bliss- do your bliss
8. Portals of discovery
9. Be careful what you wish for…
10. What we mean when we say “success”
11. The perils of prosperity
12. The gentle art of giving back
“Peter Buffett has given us a wise and inspiring book that should be required reading for every young person seeking to find his or her place in the world, and for every family hoping to give its daughters and sons the best possible start in life.” –President Bill Clinton
“Knowing and admiring Peter as we do, this book captures his spirit, passion and values beautifully. As parents, it’s the kind of dialogue about our life’s purpose and opportunity we’re having with our children. We will have everyone in our family read and discuss the book.” —Bill & Melinda Gates
“With home-spun, heart-felt wisdom, Peter Buffett ponders how to make a meaningful life, while making a living. Life Is What You Make It is thought-provoking, worthwhile reading.” —Ted Turner