Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

On Reimagining my life

It is interesting that I awoke at 2am, then again at 3 and 4am; I finally conceded to the inevitable and rolled out of bed at 5am. Made my coffee, each cup with a tablespoon of potent Mexican vanilla (thank you, neighbor Pam!). The interesting part of today’s story (at least to me) is that I slept fitfully because of the mountain of tasks on my plate right now – and the responsibility to complete projects I committed to without really measuring my time availability or what cost will be extracted from me to complete them. The incongruity of what life looks like today, compared with how I want to live my life is nothing short of staggering.

Feeling oppressed and needing to find my center again, I picked up and finished the last few chapters of Mark Scandrette’s book, Soul Graffiti. Over the years, I’ve read countless books by renowned Christian authors, but can’t remember one like this, where the words are more like music or gently-scented oil, massaging and warming as they slipped – surprisingly – into my soul, unwilling to settle for less than immediate response, refusing to be captured and held hostage by my mind, prevented from becoming material reality.

Over the past couple of years, Sherry and I have made choices to move us in the direction of further simplicity. We’ve been intentional about that and focused primarily on educating ourselves as preparation for service to marginalized people in Africa. I had essentially walked away from “my former way of life” in business, where I was relentless in the pursuit of career growth. Now I find myself consumed with business again – though for different reasons – yet there nonetheless. I work with wonderful people in a company espousing values I support and respect. I have clients and business relationships that honor and respect me. I actually truly enjoy what I do, with amazing opportunities, working in an environment that utilizes my skills and talents – and yet it still doesn’t feel quite right.

I imagine spending part of every day studying, meditating on Scriptures and “holy stuff.” That part of the day would include writing and communicating to the hearts of other men and women seeking to find a life in the Way of Jesus. I imagine excelling (rather than barely surviving) in the completion of my MBA in International Development. I imagine myself relearning French and tackling Kiswahili and researching ways to bring development projects, healing and dignity to broken people in Africa, some on the brink of extinction, marginalized because of exploitation and power. I imagine finding joy in outdoor activities and more physical exercise with my new friend, Bear (a labradoodle we’re adopting when we move back to our house in a few weeks). I imagine earning money by doing these things – perhaps through writing or ??

I have to get past my current commitments; I commit to again finding this new way – of indeed reimagining my life.