I savor inspiration when it comes my way. I think to be inspired is sort of natural high for us as humans. I find inspiration in so many places. Nature, music, books, people, conversation and prayer are some of the first places I look to find inspiration. The forest and its fragrance are something that inspire me.
Years ago I read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. It is a very short but epic book. Mandino is well-known for writing books about being inspired, successful and happy. While thrift shopping a few weeks back I came across, The Choice, also by Mandino.
While reading The Choice, I felt convicted about my time and how I Choose to spend it. My husband’s favorite author, Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
Let that sink in. Does what you do really matter or make you happy? I have been pondering that a lot lately.
In the book, Mark is a young father and husband who climbed the corporate ladder successfully, fast and strong.
Mark realized he was missing precious time. One of the big ones, he missed seeing his son pitch his first no-hitter.
When we are the super stars at work that the boss depends on, there is a price to pay. The same goes for being the over spent volunteer, coach, tireless artist and of course the stay at home mom who feels like she needs to be superwoman to add up. It feels almost unfair that if one thing is going Amazing; chances are something else is suffering. Having it all… what does that even mean? At this point in my life I have changed my definition. I think to have it all is to find balance among all of the things that are important to me. It forms a perfect circle. The hard part is then being able to drop the things that are not.
We think our kids want stuff. And they do. But if we dig deeper, what the people we love really crave and need is TIME. Time cannot be bought. Time cannot be returned and time cannot be redone. The moment is the moment. We try to manipulate time. But as the saying goes, “it is what it is.” You are either present or you aren’t.
Mark was inspired, by what my friends and I like to call a “God moment.” His son ran down the driveway to embrace him on Father’s Day as he was leaving to golf with work buddies. Right then and there, his life would change forever. He made a choice to put what really mattered first. He chose to leave the corporate world completely. What did he decide to do instead? Become a writer of course;)
His family embraced the change and moved to a property with a lighthouse. This lighthouse becomes a background for the writing in the story.
Mark’s book is written in the lighthouse and typed on an old Underwood typewriter left by the previous author; a beautifully interwoven piece to the story.
The book Mark writes, is about living a successful life and it takes off an incredible journey straight to the top. He is once again at the top of his game. And there are some struggles that come along with it.
This book was written in 1984 and there is a story within a story. It is a mystery of sorts and in the beginning really had an old school Scooby Doo vibe. I don’t believe that was his intention. It might just be part of my childhood amusing me while reading. There was No Mystery Bus! But this mystery takes a turn in style, almost a premonition to the writing style of, “The Shack,” which will soon be a movie. The shack is an excellent book and if I may suggest, Please read it before the movie comes out.
Mark is given a profound choice to make and he does. I won’t divulge that here. I will say this, I think most people will initially think the title of this book was based on, “The Choice,” he is given in the mystery part of the book. I don’t agree.
I believe the greatest choice, the hardest choice was the one Mark made in the beginning when he listened to his heart and dumped the corporate world to live a life of meaning beyond just money.
A definite worth while read.