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November 6, 2014 Life Lessons No Comments

I recently celebrated my 52nd. birthday on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland.  It was my wife’s birthday present to me – thank you sweetie.  I didn’t need any gifts, cake or ice cream. What I desired most was time away from noise (i.e. cell phone, computer, television, even people).  My birthday is in February and its cold, so hardly anyone is out there but me. I discovered that I am not good for people if I am always with people. I wanted a personal retreat in order to reset and re-examine my story – my life.  “Take heed to your life…” (1 Timothy 4:16)

It is at the ocean (or the woods near my home) where I get high-definition clarity about my story.  Are you aware that a Ferrari is made to travel over 200mph?  Check this out.  If a Ferrari is in a fog, it can only go 7mph! With all that horsepower of potential – 7mph.

On my personal retreat, I am intentional about three choices – defining my story, aligning my story and engraving my story.  If I am going to become the “me” that I want to “be” I have to regularly examine my story.  The same is true for you.

So, how does this happen?

1.  Define your story.

This begins with the author of your story.  If the author of your story stares back at you when you look in the mirror, your story will be a mystery and horror.   “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and finisher of your faith…” (Hebrews 12:2) My personal retreat focuses on heart-centric questions such as:

  • Have I left my first love (Jesus)?
  • Are there any idols in my story?
  • Am I willing to exchange my script (my agenda) for the Scriptures?

2.  Align your story.

You have a wobbly car when the wheels are not in alignment.  Roman philosopher, Seneca said, “He who is everywhere is nowhere”.

  • Has your story become wobbly?
  • Where are you scattered?
  • What parts of your story concern you the most and need editing?

3.  Engrave your story.

Take regular doses of vitamin A – application.

 Practice daily disciplines such as spending time with the Author (read a Psalm a day)

  • Journal your story. What are you grateful for? What are you learning?
  • Develop a vision board of the story you feel the Author is calling you to.
  • Refresh your story by frequent personal retreats.  This could be an overnighter a day or a 15 minute getaway to a quiet place.

A great story does not occur automatically; it happens intentionally.

Written by Johnny Parker
As a relationship architect and executive coach, Dr. Johnny Parker has helped hundreds of men and women experience authentic joy and fulfillment by viewing their life as a story. Dr. Parker is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University. He has also served as a team life coach for the National Football League and WNBA. He holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership.