Stepping into the life you were made for
An extract from The Family Business: A Parable About Stepping Into The Life You Were Made For, by Geoff Peters
"I need a little wisdom,” Dave said. I've gotta figure out what I'm going to do about my dad's business offer, and I'm stuck. I want to say no, but my heart isn't letting me off that easy. I feel tormented.”
"Do you mean you'd feel guilty saying no?” Jon inquired.
"Yep, I'm pretty sure I would feel guilty,” Dave said.
"Why?” Jon asked. "Don't you deserve to have your own life . . . one that works for you rather than your family's expectations for you?”
"Yes, I do, and that's where the trouble lies,” Dave said. "I want my life, and I also want to please my father. But I feel like it's an either/or situation. I'm stuck.”
"But who made it that way?” Jon asked. "Did your dad tell you that if you joined the family business, you'd have to give up everything here in Michigan, move to Iowa, and put on a Jesses Hardware apron?”
Dave gazed thoughtfully at the chic, weathered tin ceiling, rubbing his chin. "No, actually, he didn't.”
"Okay, what did he say?” Jon asked.
"Actually, he said he didn't want us to give up our lives for the company, but rather he wanted us to bring all of ourselves to it,” Dave said reflectively. "At the time, I guess I registered that as sacrificing ourselves for the company. But perhaps that's not what he was saying at all.”
"Dave, my friend, in your work life, you are so accepting of the grey spaces and obscurities, which is part of what makes you such a great therapist. But in your own life, sometimes you can be a little black and white,” Jon said, "and you know I say that with a whole lotta brotherly love.”
He continued, "Maybe your response next weekend isn't as simple as yes or no. Maybe there's a third option . . . a yes, and.’”
"So what would my and be?” Dave asked.
"I don't have all the answers,” Jon said. "I just know that instead of making this an all-or-nothing proposition, it could be an opportunity for you to retain who you are, leveraging it to play a role in advancing your dad's business.”
The Family Business: A Parable About Stepping Into The Life You Were Made For, written by Geoff Peters from OM International, which launches in the UK on 5 October 2021, from Eden and Amazon
Peters serves on the international leadership team of Operation Mobilisation and is director of The Mission Gap Project, which seeks to close the divide between what Christians are called to do and what they actually do. He wrote The Family Business in response to a study conducted by The Mission Gap Project, which discovered three primary fears that prevent Christians from stepping into God’s work with the fullness of their lives - fear of sacrifice, failure and personal safety.
In addition to the book, free online resources are available from thefamilybusinessparable.com to accompany personal reflection and small group discussion, and to offer sermon outlines and deeper-dive videos.
All the proceeds of the book go to OM and The Mission Gap Project.
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