(First published August 27, 2010.)
I love Don Miller. He inspires and challenges me (even when we don’t agree).
Of course, that makes it sound like we’ve talked. We haven’t. I’ve read.
The other day, I was thinking about interviewing him, about questions I would ask him if I had the opportunity. I was thinking about the new things he talked about doing in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. I was thinking in particular about asking him what he learned from starting a nonprofit.
And then I wondered what would someone learn from not starting something new?
I’m not arguing with Don. Not at all. The point of his book is that it’s worthwhile to look at the story your life is telling. If you don’t like that story, start rewriting it.
What is easy to do when reading that is to think it necessary to make some huge change. Ride a bike across the country. Start a new organization for mentoring kids. Learn about story. Write a book.
But what if rewriting your story means staying put? What if it means learning to love more carefully and thoughtfully the people you already love? What if it means learning that the opposite of complacent may not be ambitious or accomplished, it may be content? What if it meant that the opposite of mere busy-ness may not be focused activity, it may be stillness. What if rather than starting a new project or business or campaign, maybe it means finishing the old one well?
In writing to his apprentice Timothy, Paul reviews what can happen when people get consumed and then says, “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11).
Sometimes pursuing happens by faithfully staying.
Of course, if you want to learn a new routine, I did write about that in “Learning a New Routine.“