I was recently sitting reading through some leadership material and began thinking about a quote that was used. The quote by John C. Maxwell stated, “reading without reflecting is like chewing without swallowing.” Although this is a simple visual of a thought or philosophy, If I dig farther into it and realize that, God made us beings unlike other animals, and by unlike, I mean that we have a very distinct ability, need, and want for growth. We as people were given a inner search and desire to grow mentally, emotionally, and yes spiritually. So, I think about how often I and perhaps many others, spend time reading an article in a magazine, reading a good book, or even scrolling hours through Facebook trying to get a sense of what the world is doing around us as we sit in the world at that moment as it races by.
So what do we do with all this information and knowledge at our fingertips? I watch my wife go through the traditional process of reading, writing, testing, and much more reflecting as she works her way towards a masters degree. I sometimes think about all the reflecting I did during my masters program and how much I absolutely learned and grew when I got to “chew” on the information with others and then reflect on how it impacted me, “chewing” it and the “nutrients” helping me grow. So many of times, we sit and watch television, play games, and other things and there is such a great opportunity to grow and learn to benefit us and more importantly benefit others with this limited time we are given on Earth. You might know, Jesus reflected a lot and tried to share that information to others so they could grow and see things in a new way, and in return, their actions could reflect their new way of thinking and seeing things. There were people (pharisees) that believed they truly reflected on the bible so much that they missed the lessons and opportunities that Jesus and His disciples gave them to learn and grow. Not much has changed no matter what the material is about.
I am dedicating myself to a reflecting on a book that I have recently been thinking about as I get older and experience and see things in new ways. I used to coach with a great man that taught me a lot. Yes, he taught me a lot about the X’s and O’s of football and strategy, which I took with me as I coached my players in many sports. Thinking about it now, wins and losses come at a dime a dozen and many times if not all the time, we don’t even remember the scores, the records, or statistics. We do remember the process and journey we went through and the experiences that we take off of the playing field that molded us into the human beings we are today. What do people love talking about when they see old friends or even new friends? those experiences and how it impacted us. One thing that he started using that went along with saying at practice for a while and then began wondering? why does he say this? what is the purpose? He would end a practice and instead of the “word” always given, he would state, “what is my job?” and then the team would repeat chorally, “love us”. He then would state, “what is your job?” as the team would reply, “love each other.” Something so simple could be a ritual or practice and not much more than that. But as I discovered, it was a believe, a passion, an ultimate philosophy that yes he was developing a winning team and program in the small picture, but beyond that, he was developing young men that one day would move on to be fathers, contributors to society, instruments of faith, and much more. He was helping them learn and apply things that would last beyond that season, “a season of life.”
I then took this ideas and read a book that I believe that he got this idea from called a “Season of Life” by Jeffrey Marx. I read this book once about five or six years ago and took so much away from it. As I sit and think about it, I decided to read it again to reflect or “chew” on it more as I have experienced so much more that I believe will help me understand the book in a deeper level. I don’t want to simply read it again though, I want to walk through it, stop, and reflect on it. So my goal is to read through several chapters and then post on something about the book that hits me hard that I can rejuvenate on. A new discovery that I want to bring back into my home and more so my passion as an educator and administrator, which I view as a bigger coaching opportunity to help more kids than just on a football team. But please don’t misunderstand me, no matter if it is one kid or a hundred, if you have changed a life for the better, you are doing a great thing in this world.
I hope you follow along and join me on this journey. If you have read the book, please discuss with me and comment as that is what true learning is. If you have not, then perhaps read it or just join me anyways because many of the things I will talk about are from the book, but relate to life and we are all part of that season. I might post daily, I might post weekly, there is no set plan but I ask if you are reading this, you can help me by messaging me and letting me know that it has been a while and that I am not meeting my goal with this step. We all need help at times and we should be able to ask when needed. Thank you so much, my next post will be the first reflection from the reading so please stay tuned.