Many are saying that in the automobile industry, there has not been a revolution of this magnitude since Henry Ford inaugurated the assembly line for the Model T Ford on December 1, 1913. Yet as with every revolution and in every growing kingdom, there are hidden costs. Even in an endeavor as brilliant and groundbreaking as the Tesla Corporation.
‘This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career. It was excruciating.” These candid words belong to Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla. (1)
There are hidden costs in every kingdom. With vulnerable emotion, Musk describes 120-hour work weeks at the hefty expense of time with his kids and his friends. As an example, Musk confesses racing to his brother’s wedding (he was the best man) by private jet, arriving a mere two hours before the wedding, only to fly out immediately afterward in order to be back at his desk—the same desk where he spent his birthday entirely alone, minus friends or family or even a step outside the building.
The names change, but the storyline is ever present: dramatic success often has its own hidden and painful costs. “There is nothing new under the sun,” as the author of Ecclesiastes put it almost 3,000 years ago. (2)
Falling men and falling kingdoms.
Good and beautiful and heroic desires are embedded in the center of the masculine soul. Yet there is also something corrosive at work. Some drive to answer a searing question for which we have no words. Some compulsive need to push and strive that lures us so often to prioritize the things that matter less over the things that matter (or are supposed to matter) most to us.
What are we to make of this dilemma?
If we venture below the surface, into the sacred inner geography of the soul of a man, what treasures would we find? What type of rescue mission might we initiate to help recover the life for which we are made? And what path of wholehearted restoration might we find that could put us on a trajectory so that, a decade from now, these words might be true?
Life is different now in tangible and meaningful ways. Circumstances are no less difficult, yet my soul is thriving. My relationships are strong. A courage-filled and cultivated “yes” is at work in my soul. My kingdom and those under my care are doing increasingly better. My heart is more whole; not only my strength but also my smile has been restored. No doubt, I am still under renovation. Yet I have come to an experiential knowing of the promise of the One to whom I am apprenticed, and my experience is this:
I was tired and worn out…burned by people and things and myself most of all. Yet I drew nearer to my Guide. I risked consenting to a process. I began asking the hard questions. I began risking love: love for my own soul, love for those around me, love for the One who sets all good things in motion. I drew away and slowly and assuredly began to recover my life. I watched my Master as he modeled how to take a real rest. I walked with him and worked with him. I watched with a fresh and steadfast curiosity how he navigated precarious terrain and engaged in it without being ruled by it. I learned what I can only name as unforced rhythms of receiving God acting in my life to accomplish a goodness far beyond my ability to create on my own. I gave up what was heavy and ill-fitting. I kept more and more company with my Master; and in time, I am learning to live freely and lightly. My masculine soul is being restored, and everyone in my world is better for it. (3)
Welcome, friends, to this first of an extended podcast series in which we’ll step behind the scenes into never-before-released teaching from the 2017 Become Good Soil Intensive.
You are the core fellowship of the message of Become Good Soil, and I am so excited to bring this podcast to you first. It is my prayer that through this series, God would deepen your hope, resolve, and capacity to recover the ancient path and become the man God meant when he meant you.
Through October 12, we are accepting applications for the next Become Good Soil Intensive. Find out more here.
For the Kingdom,
- New York Times Article, August 16, 2018
- Ecclesiastes 1:9
- Matthew 11:28-30