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Jesus, Life CoachLearn from the Best
By LAURIE BETH JONES
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 Laurie Beth Jones
All right reserved.
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My friend Joe Mathews shared a poignant story with me recently. His best friend's wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a short time to live. Joe said he watched in awe as Dan and his wife, Christine, began to live each day with tremendous clarity and love. When it was nearly the end Joe finally got up the courage to ask Christine the question: "What does it feel like to live each day knowing you are dying?" She raised herself up on one arm, and then asked him, "Joe, what does it feel like to live each day pretending that you are not?"
One of the most powerful questions for focusing is asking yourself: "What would I be doing with my time if I knew I had only six healthy months to live?" It can immediately cause you to reorganize your priorities.
Focus is the beginning of power.
Last year I spoke on the phone with a client that I have been coaching. A highly successful entrepreneur, he had a vague idea of what he wanted and needed to do next in his life to take him to a higher level. He said he had read The Path but had not written down his answers to the questions. For his first assignment I had him go back and write down the answers to the questions. In writing his vision specifically, he got very clear about what he wanted to create and experience in his life.
I ran into him recently, and he was laughing exultantly. Everything he had written in his vision since our first discussion had come true-not in three years, but in ninety days. He said, "As soon as I got clear about the 'vision thing'-wham! Everything started coming to me so quickly. Now you need to write the next book to tell me what to do when all of my vision starts coming true all at once." We laughed about the dilemma of the fishermen who followed Jesus' instructions to throw the net on the other side of the boat and hauled in such a catch of fish that it threatened to overwhelm their vessel.
Such a catch of fish is waiting for you, too. Are you ready?
When Jesus, your personal Coach, looks at you, he will ask you one question: "What do you want me to do for you?" That was the question he asked again and again in his ministry-whether it was a Roman soldier, anxious about the failing health of his favorite assistant, or a woman who had been suffering a hemorrhage for twelve years. "What do you want me to do for you?"
Jesus is asking you to focus now. All the power is here. All the goodwill is here. All the intent is here right now.
It is up to you to decide on who you want to be and what you want to be about in this world.
The following chapters are designed to help you focus-to help you go from being a lightbulb, illuminating a small space, to a laser beam, powerful enough to cut through steel.
WITH JESUS AS YOUR LIFE COACH, YOU WILL ...
Have Your Tent Stolen
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Now we see only reflections in a mirror ... but then we shall be seeing face to face. -1 Corinthians 13:12 (NJB)
Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Ray Anderson, founder of a textile mill in Georgia named Interface, speak to a group of business leaders in Santa Fe. He told the following story.
It seems that one day Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Watson, went camping. As the night wore on, Sherlock woke up, leaned over, and asked Watson, "What do you see?" Watson responded, "Sherlock, I see the North Star, which has helped guide us to this spot. Beyond that I see the Big Dipper and the tail of Orion. I also can make out the edges of the Milky Way and know that there are universes expanding beyond that."
Watson was about to continue his rapturous explanation when suddenly Sherlock elbowed him and hissed, "Watson, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent!"
Laughter rippled through the audience as the multiple real-life applications of this story became apparent. Watson was rhapsodizing about the beauty of the universe, and Sherlock the detective was concerned with the crime that made their new view possible.
Jesus once described himself as coming "like a thief in the night." I love the idea of his coming to steal our tent-the tent of our limited perspective-the tent of our fragile and segmented understandings-the tent that we think is keeping us safe, but is really just keeping us from seeing the universe.
Like children huddled in a tent, we talk to each other in the light of our little flashlights, considering ourselves bold adventurers-but we haven't even left our own backyard.
I wrote a chapter in Jesus in Blue Jeans regarding God's impatience with "stiff necked" people. Stubbornness is first cousin to arrogance, and pride always precedes a fall. When we think that we know it all ... when we refuse to try another way of doing things ... when we are determined to remain inflexible and ignorant, we are doomed to failure.
Some time ago I hosted a birthday party for a friend. When one of the invited guests arrived, she admitted that she was a little late because she couldn't find her glasses. She laughed and said, "I finally just grabbed the closest pair I could find. I think these are my mother's." We all chuckled as she described how difficult it had been to drive over to the house, looking through lenses that belonged to somebody else.
How often do we just grab our parent's glasses when we head out on a journey, and not use "new eyes" to view the world? I am continuously amazed and chagrined at how often we repeat our parents' negative patterns. It is how a culture is created, I suppose, and how one declines.
If only we would open our eyes to new ways of relating, seeing, and doing. If only we would focus not on the tent that has been stolen, but on our suddenly expanding view of the universe. Watch out, oh you who desire growth.
Jesus will steal your tent.
1. Where in life are you using your mother's or father's glasses?
2. How big is your tent?
3. How limiting is it?
4. What is the value of the kind of "thievery" we are talking about in this chapter?
Thank you for stealing the tent of my small-mindedness and limited thinking. Help me realize that nothing is lost, but much more is gained, when you steal away my oh so comfortable limitations. Amen.
Excerpted from Jesus, Life Coach by LAURIE BETH JONES Copyright © 2007 by Laurie Beth Jones. Excerpted by permission.
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