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And so I handed in my resignation letter…

It’s been four years since I graduated and began working at IBM and it’s been 4 years since I’ve known that this is the summer I’ll be leaving it all behind. Much praying and planning has went into this journey. I recently extended my thirty year plan into a sixty year plan… just in case I live that long.

I’ve never had a doubt that this is what God wanted me to do, though I’ve got to say, that a twinge of nervousness has crept up on my recently. With this next step I’ll be leaving the common and familiar for the seldom and unfamiliar. I’ll be trading a steady and solid income for unknown periods of debt. Most of all, I’ll be giving up a job I love and daring to live a life of love.

One of my managers was relieved it wasn’t due to any type of job dissatisfaction. “Well, I can’t compete with God”, he exclaimed. It turned out my other manager was on staff with Willow Creek earlier in his career. We ended up talking for a couple hours about life, discipline, and vision. It’s interesting how as I’ve talked to others about this, what I’m hearing is that I’m “one of those people” who actually try to do something different; something they love in this life.

I’ve got a lot that I want to do in my life, but the truth is, after looking at my life from a sixty year perspective, I was starting to draw blanks on what else I might want to do. Most of us over estimate what we can do in a year, and drastically underestimate what we can do in ten or twenty years. The way I see it, with the pace of life as it is these days, we have the opportunity to live multiple life times, having different and worthwhile careers and passions during our time on earth. I know plenty of people who have things they want to do in life, but the reality is, they’re just wish lists. Real dreams must be attempted.

I’m leaving this career, and taking the next step towards my dream of unleashing hope in others because I must. My heart demands it. And anything less would be a violation of who I’m called to be.

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Sam. July 12, 2006, 11:04 am

    Sounds like an adventure! You’re in our prayers as you take this bold step forward.

    I love what you said about “Most of us over estimate what we can do in a year, and drastically underestimate what we can do in ten or twenty years”. This is so true and a timely reminder. Thanks.

  • tony sheng July 12, 2006, 11:14 am

    hey lon,
    blessings on you as you enter this new phase of your life. i know i am among many that are watching with a lot of excitement and anticipation for how God is going to use you and your family to make a huge impact.

  • tina July 12, 2006, 11:52 am

    Hi Lon ~ I know it isn’t as simple as the questions I’m about to ask but see if you get my meaning … what are you going to that you are leaving your 9 to 5 job behind? What will you be doing to achieve your goals?

    WOW! I am way stoked for you!! This is the kind of life we all should be living. Man, just think of the possibilities!!

    What keeps me going everyday (to my 9 to 5) is the fact that Dean and I are spending all of our extra moments investing in our dreams. My motto: if you throw enough mud against the wall something is bound to stick, right? haha

    These words really resonate with my soul:
    “The way I see it, with the pace of life as it is these days, we have the opportunity to live multiple life times, having different and worthwhile careers and passions during our time on earth. I know plenty of people who have things they want to do in life, but the reality is, they’re just wish lists. Real dreams must be attempted.”

    Can’t wait to hear more …

  • nooc July 12, 2006, 1:14 pm

    Welcome to the fray Lon!

    I too am curious as to what you have in mind. When I left my job in similar fashion a year ago… it was actually several months before a vision, mission and opportunity really materialized. I just knew that God was calling my family and I to take that step before we knew anything more or had anything else lined up.

    Looking forward to watching things unfold and am very excited for you!

    nooc

  • onelouder July 12, 2006, 1:33 pm

    Very inspiring post, Lon. Congrats on your new adventure. I’ll look forward to keeping up here on your blog.

    Now…you have a 60-year plan?!?!?!?!?!?!

    What the…..

  • obahsomah July 12, 2006, 1:39 pm

    Yes you get the quote of the day…Real dreams MUST be attempted. Blessings and guidance to you, Yvonne and new baby!

  • Lon July 12, 2006, 4:11 pm

    Sam, Tony thanks for the prayers. It means so much to have people actively tuning in and praying for us! It’s really deeply touching.

    Tina and Nooc, yes, i’m leaving the 9 to 5 so that I can dedicate more of my strengths and gifts towards more direct ministry (The 9 to 5 of course is still a crucial frontlines ministry of its own).

    Plans going forward, finishing one more year of school. I’m not much of a school person, so in the meantime i also hope to be launching a church planting and kingdom advancing network on campus to draw out and connect others that might have a similar vision.

    I’ve always been a grass-roots ministry type, but I see the need for scalable and flat organizations that can really make an impact on a culture not just specks of the population.

    onelouder – yes a 60 year plan. maybe i’ll be brave enough to share it sometime! really I’m just setting myself up for failure, but it’d be a greater failure not to try.

    Deanna, as always, thanks for tuning in. I was just sharing with Yvonne a bit of your story with Steve awnd Max and how much I admire your attitude and perspectives!

  • Fional July 12, 2006, 4:37 pm

    Lon,
    Just over 10 years ago I handed in a similar resignation letter having just qualified in my profession. My boss expected us to be moving 200 miles back to our parents town – instead we went half way around the world and spent nearly 2 years in Papua New Guinea. We didn’t have much of a plan for the rest of life, but within 3 months of being there, my husband (snakesanddoves) received his call to the ministry. Now he’s got one year to go of a 5 year appointment and we’re getting excited about the next move.
    I’m preaching on 2 Tim 3:16-4:5 this weekend. I’m sure its appropriate for you.
    with prayers,
    Fional

  • Ta'Mar July 12, 2006, 5:46 pm

    “…reality is, they’re just wish lists. Real dreams must be attempted.”

    Amen, I agree. Possibly if I could move my dream into reality and my reality into a dream I’ll abide confidently there, devoid of anything superficial.

    Cheers! It’ll be great!

  • Brian Russell July 12, 2006, 7:26 pm

    Congratulations Lon!

    Look forward to hearing about your continued adventure.

    Peace,
    Brian

  • Keith W July 12, 2006, 10:52 pm

    Lon, congrats! I can imagine the combination of exhilaration and trepidation. God is calling you to life, like Aslan singing Narnia into existence.

    I recall the day I turned down a promotion and relocation to my company’s global HQ office, to take a separation package (they were eliminating my location). Like that still moment at the top of the first big drop of a roller coaster. Flinging yourself off the cliff into the arms of God.

    I now teach a workshop called “aligning people and passions”. When I talk about my leap of Faith, I show a clip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. If you know the movie, you’ll know the clip I mean. If you get a chance, watch it again. That whole section of the movie will speak to you in a whole new way, in light of your new adventure. Meanwhile, I’ll join my prayer with those already offered up.

    Leap… He’s waiting…

  • bink July 13, 2006, 3:23 pm

    Lon,

    First time, first time- but yetl know God has me being patient, seeking Him more for these past 3 weeks and, thus, hearing Him in and thru many different ways such at thru people such as you.

    My resignation on Juneteenth (6.19.06) here in Texas was not by choice but all I do know with certainty is that I’m moving in the right direction (whatever that is) and away from where I was. I am waiting daily on a new or fresh vision and passion.

    I’ll be praying the Lord works out his will and passion in your life fully.

    jwb

  • Lon July 14, 2006, 6:52 am

    Fional – thanks for that bit of scripture. It was very encouraging to read and reflect on this morning! Both you and your husband share the preaching?

    Ta’Mar and Brian – thanks for the affirmations

    Keith – I know the scene you’re talking about in the movie, great one on faith. I’d love to hear more about what you’re covering in your workshop and how it’s impacting people!

    jwb – sounds like you’re at an exciting crossroad in life! I know the uncertainty can be tough at times. Would love to hear where God takes you. My prayers are with you.

  • V. July 14, 2006, 7:42 am

    One Life….

    Summed up….

  • Fional July 14, 2006, 10:50 am

    Lon,
    He’s the ordained one, but as there aren’t enough ministers to go around in the Methodist church in the UK, we have ‘local preachers’ to fill the gaps. When he started this appointment, I’d probably preached more times than he – now he’s well overtaken me! The UK Methodist church is one of the more liberal churches when it comes to women in leadership/teaching roles. At my local 55 member church, 10 members are male – I don’t know if you can put two and two together on this one?!?
    A bit off the subject. Glad the scripture helped.
    Fiona

  • tommy July 15, 2006, 11:43 pm

    Lon:

    I began the same journey about two years ago and it has carried me here to Miami.

    I was recenlty reading my journal entries from the beginning – when I actually began to walk in my dreams and I wrote “So I wander, in search of the treasure hidden somewhere on the map of my heart…with each beat I draw nearer my dream…discovering life along the way…courting destiny.”

    So anyway, I really connect to your post. Dreams unattempted are dreams wasted. So walk on brother.

  • Lon July 19, 2006, 12:13 pm

    V, Fiona thanks for the comments.

    Tommy – we’ll need to talk more sometime, i’d love to hear the real dirt on how things got launched for you and where’s taken you.

  • Ryan January 3, 2007, 5:56 pm

    Please share the 60-year plan! I linked here from another blog, but you’ve got me curious. I’d like to hear as much of the 60-year plan as you’ll share just to see what is brewing in the heart/mind of someone who even dares to attempt that kind of thing.

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