Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Have Passport Will Travel

Old men ought to be explorers
Here and there does not matter

We must be still and still moving

Into another intensity

For another union, a deeper communion

- T.S. Eliot, "East Coker"

At the age of 56, I may finally be ready to enter the journey of the second half of life. Here is what Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest has to say about that in his book Falling Upward. "Nothing can inhibit your second journey except your own lack of courage, patience, and imagination. Your second journey is all yours to walk into or to avoid. My conviction is that some falling apart of the first journey is necessary for this to happen, so do not waste a moment of time lamenting poor parenting, lost job, failed relationship, physical handicap, gender identity, economic poverty, or even the tragedy of any kind of abuse. Pain is part of the deal. If you don't walk into the second half of your own life, it is you who do not want it. God will always give you exactly what you truly want and desire. So make sure you desire, desire deeply, desire yourself, desire God, desire everything good, true and beautiful."

What I really desire in this second half of my journey is to partner with a dynamic team that is aggressively combining business investment with corporate social responsibility and strategic community philanthropy. Ideally this would be a company of social entrepreneur's (for-profit or not-for-profit) that have a local, national and international presence, while making a strategic impact as they expand operations in emerging economies and developing regions of the world.

I enjoy the challenge of establishing effective alliances among government, business and civic philanthropy partners. The first half of my journey has taken me to over 35 nations and allowed me opportunities to learn from and mentor young adults in Australia, British Columbia, Fiji, Norway, Brazil, New Zealand, Hawaii, England, Switzerland, Korea, Scotland, Holland, Ghana, Romania, Togo, China, Ukraine, Denmark and Egypt. I was also privileged to have extensive opportunities of walking alongside and equipping graduate level interns from around the world in 3-6 month urban practicums in Indianapolis.

I recently sat down to summarize the last two decades of my journey in Journal #69 and realized just how hard it is for me to describe where I'm coming from as I prepare for what's next.

Here are some highlights:

Player/Coach: Co-founder of several bride building enterprises between faith communities, corporations, business leaders and visionary global humanitarian entrepreneur's

Trainer/Mentor: Over 30 years of leading, encouraging and challenging young adults from around the world - I learned as much from them as they did from me

General Manager: Over a decade of coordinating State and County mental health contracts to provide faith-based / home-based counseling for at risk families and children in need, managing therapists and graduate interns with case loads of up to 60 families at a time

Pastoral Counselor: Personally worked with over 450 individuals and families and we had 85% overall success rate in reuniting children with their families- what a privilege to occasionally witness the miracle of family reunification

Hospitality/Discipleship: Co-founder of emerging faith community with 14 years of intentional presence in Indianapolis, hosting countless global guests in our commercial properties

Thanks to everyone who has accompanied me on bits and pieces of this journey over the years, especially all you Open Hand folks. Rich, for being with me on the road to Kumasi. Rod, for inviting me to join you in first class on our flight to Auckland and inviting me to explore the world. Ann, the wife of my youth and traveling companion over the past 30 years. Janet, for your inspired words of confirmation as we moved into the hood. Marshall for your ongoing integrity in the most difficult of situations. Elisabeth for loving life and living deeply as a true daughter of Eve. Derek for all your large art that populates our imaginations. Josh, for knocking open closed doors that intimidate so many of us. Scott and Jeannie, for driving down 32nd Street and deciding to anchor your presence in our community. Crazy, anointed YWAM around the world, for inviting us all into the wild Kingdom. All our global interns, for challenging us every step of the way. Nolan, for impregnating 215 with your contagious DNA, speeding up the evolutionary process for so many young adults. Humphrey, for recognizing and calling forth the Spirit of Marriage in our community. Bob, for introducing us all to Rabbi Ed Friedman and Bowen Family Systems Theory. I could go on and on as there are so many significant others of you out there.

I can't wait to see where the second half of life journey takes me and maybe some of you too.

What choice remains?

Well, to be ordinary is not a choice:

It is the usual freedom

Of men and women without visions.

- Thomas Merton, Cistercian Monk