“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”Luke 24:18
Stop for a moment and consider your story. Consider the narrative of your journey to this moment in time. As your mind wanders over your past, you begin to see themes and inflection points. With some perspective, the struggles and victories take different shapes in the greater context of your life. Now, think about how you would tell your story.
Recently, I was asked about “my story.” The question was broad and had no constraining structure attached. Considering it, I realized the query wasn’t so much about the details but themes. It wasn’t concerned with the “what” but more interested in the the “why.” As I paused to organize a response, my mind wandered to a conversation around the release of my second book late last year when I was asked a similar question.
Those months ago and this week, I responded in the context of my entrepreneurial journey but the story told little of deals, decisions, or discoveries as they relate to my work. I found myself describing my journey as an entrepreneur as “my road to Emmaus;” a faith journey.
Today, Christians around the world celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We celebrate the culmination of our faith in God’s act of sending his begotten Son to conquer death, sin, out of his love for us. In Luke 24:13, Jesus appears to two of his disciples as they are discussing his empty tomb during their walk to the town of Emmaus. At first they don’t recognize him, but he later reveals himself.
I grew up Catholic, celebrating Christian Holy Days and faith my entire life. However, I did not see the critical connection between my faith life and my work life I until I began my journey as an entrepreneur. Through it, I have discovered a work-life interconnectedness which profoundly reflects my faith and its role in my life. For me, Jesus has appeared and continues to reappear to me through the struggles and the victories of my companies and the people I encounter along the way. Mine is a conversion story that does not end. A journey of stumbling and doubt that renews itself perpetually in faith and hope.
How do you describe your story? Are the victories of your life yours alone? What about the struggles? What do they say about you? What part of your journey really captures the essence of your “Why?” Do you see purpose in what you do or a random collection of events that somehow led you to this moment?
For all of us, our stories are tales of lessons learned. What have I learned along my road to Emmaus?
- It is not about me.
- The ventures in which I invest myself can each be a force for good.
- I am called to make a difference. My greatest opportunity to make a difference is to be successful.
- I am called to more.
- The difficulties draw me closer to God.
- I am but a steward of the gifts given to me.
- If I look and listen, the right path will reveal itself.
- My business and my faith are not mutually exclusive.
- We are all searching.
- There is purpose in what I do. It is not always mine.
- There are many ways to give. The gift of yourself is the greatest.
- Through Him all things are possible.
- My greatest mistakes always occur when I grip too tightly. I am not always in control. I don’t always need to be in control.
We are all in different places along the road. The challenges we face and the choices we make reflect that place. All we can do is continue to show up and do our best every day.
Look at your story again. Consider the themes and your own lessons. Where were you at your best? Who appeared to you when you needed them? What do these things tell you about what you need to do to live your best life?
For me, my entrepreneurial journey has been integrative; it has pulled together many of the pieces of my life and provided fresh context for my priorities. Through it, purpose and meaning make sense in a different way. This is my road and on it goes toward something bigger than myself.
Celebrate today. Find a sense of resurrection in the signs of your life. Indicators suggesting direction, purpose. Open yourself to the wonder of something miraculous and inexplicable. Your story is still unfolding and the road you travel is toward something greater than you realize.