Men’s retreat. Quest for a better story.

March 16, 2009

Last night, I laid in my bed for the first time in four nights.  Just as I was relishing clean sheets and the world’s most comfortable bed, suddenly my entire hamstring shrunk to the size of a tight tennis ball behind my left leg.  I have had leg cramps before, but this one topped them all. 

Apparently walking to the top of this hill at Wildhorse (the one with the path behind the lake, you’re gonna have to click on the pic to see the whole thing) WHC look SW with my friend Luke came back to haunt me.  jayluke I wonder how many other men had a similar experience last night??  Donald Miller told us at the retreat that after we set an ambition in our lives, or any goal outside of the norm to make life a more interesting story, that all hell would break loose.  Well, the hill was my goal, and all hell broke loose in my hamstring. 🙂  On a side note, while writhing in pain, my wife was laughing hysterically because suddenly I had the perfect accent of an African women from the south and sounded like Aunt Jemimah.  (If you know me you know that when I’m not in pain, accents are impossible for me, Apparently, intense pain brings a hidden persona.)

This weekend was the best men’s retreat I have ever been to in my life.  I learned more and was challenged more and have a clearer picture in my head about life than I have had in quite a while.  Not a fix, not the answer to my problems or issues, but a clearer picture of reality, and that is priceless.

One of the first things I was supposed to do when I got home was to ask my wife what she thought my life was about, what my story was telling.  The people around you won’t tell you what you are wishing for, what you hope for, what your dreams are, they will tell you what you do, because what you do is the main story you are broadcasting.   Well, I knew that right now my story at home is more or less petty and boring, and sure enough, the first story my wife said I’m telling is that I want to be thin.


So I’m on a quest, for a better story, a meaningful story for me, for my family, and for my church.  A better story involves wanting something meaningful, pointing toward the horizon and then overcoming conflict to go get it.  And I will embrace the leg cramps that will come with it. 🙂



  1. Sorry for the leg cramps friend. If you need me to help out in some way…I’m there for you. You truly bless my story Jay!

  2. “Not a fix, not the answer to my problems or issues, but a clearer picture of reality, and that is priceless.”

    This statement is so true. My favorite thing about this weekend was the realness that we all shared with each other. We are all real men, trying to lead Christian lives, and it is encouraging to find ourselves in equal company. Thank you for your hard work, and tell the African woman to settle down!! 🙂

  3. okay, so this is a little off…

    You asked me to tell you THE FIRST thing that popped into my head and I told you, but I also said other things too, in my defense!

    So, your FIRST story isn’t about being thin, it was the first thing that came in my head…and probably b/c we were talking so much about food right before…and never did I guess it would end up on the blog!

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