The closer the time came for the reunion, the more excited he became, thinking of all the wonderful stories he would hear about the changes and the accomplishments these old friends would tell him.
The night before he left he pulled out his old yearbooks, read the silly statements and the good wishes for the future that students write to each other.
He wondered what ol’ Number 86 from his football team had done. He even tried to guess what some of his friends would look like, and what kind of jobs and families some of these special friends had.
The day came to leave and he had a friend drive him and his wife to the airport and he was excited. His friend dropped them off and told them he would see him Sunday evening to pick them up
Sunday evening arrived and his friend came to the airport to pick him and his wife up. As the man got off the plane, he seemed almost despondent. His friend didn’t want to ask, but finally he said, “Well, how was the reunion?”
He responded, “It was one of the saddest experiences of my life.”
“What happened,” his friend said more than a little surprised.
To this the man replied “It wasn’t what happened but what didn’t happen. It has been forty years; forty years—and they haven’t changed. They had simply gained weight, changed clothes, gotten jobs…but they hadn’t really changed. And what I experienced was maybe one of the most tragic things I could ever imagine about life. For reasons I can’t fully understand, it seems as though some people choose not to change.”
There was a long silence as they walked back to the car.
On the drive home, the man turned to his friend and said, “I never, never want that to be said of me. Life is too precious, too sacred, and too important. If you ever see me go stagnant like that, I hope you give me a quick, swift kick where I need it. I hope you’ll love me enough to challenge me to keep growing.”
Some people choose not to change
This is a very sad story but there is so much truth in it. Many people choose not to change. Many people are content with the status quo. Many people are content to coast through life. Many people are content to simply go through the motions.
I don’t want to be one of those people!
I want to make my life count!
I want my life to make a difference!
I want to always be growing and learning!
Two ways to continue to grow and learn
1. Read! Read! Read!
Reading is crucial to our ongoing growth and learning. I do not believe a person can continue to grow and learn without being a reader. I just can’t see how that is possible.
I try to focus on reading books that challenge me to grow in different aspects of my life whether it be vocationally or personally. My goal is to read 2 books a month. Two books I have read recently are: “AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church” by Hugh Halter and “Sticky Church” by Larry Osborne. The next book on my reading list is “Your Life in Rhythm“ by Bruce Miller.
2. Go to conferences.
Conferences are a great way to be exposed to excellent teachers and speakers. Conferences usually have a fire hose approach to learning but something I have found very helpful is taking the time to make good notes and then go over them after the conference. This helps me remember and put into practice what I have learned.
My goal is to go to at least one conference a year. This past May I went to the “Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference” that is led by Pete and Geri Scazzero. In 2013 I am planning on going to the “Knowing Christ Conference” where one of my favourite authors, John Ortberg, will be speaking.
How are you continuing to grow and learn?