As we move into week two of No Shave November in honor of our partner Chip Lilley, there's been some reminiscing and sharing of past notes from Chip among the partners. I thought that I would simply pass along perhaps the most impactful and the note that put it all into perspective for many of us. I personally believe in the concept of an integrated life, our faiths, our family, our work all need to align and we are at our best when we have awareness of what is truly important across all of these aspects.
A bunch of thoughts have been rumbling around in my head for some time now and I write this to record them. If I "step outside" of myself and approach the matter on purely clinical terms, mine appears as a story of tragedy if only because if properly diagnosed the terminal nature of the affliction could have been entirely avoided. Although I’ve told my story purely from a secular point of view, I am quite aware of God's presence throughout. Having said that, the story contains some lessons learned that I fervently believe need to be shared with others.To that end, I am quite certain that God's grace has enveloped me in a significant way since surgery. I know this for two reasons. First, I have not had any feelings of "why me?" or "what did I do wrong (in God's eyes)?" I think I am honest enough with myself to state this unequivocally. Furthermore, I think thoughts like these would most naturally emanate from the subconscious. Where else do thoughts come from? Moreover, I am aware that I normally seek to place blame on "shortcomings" (either as a result of character flaw or as by a natural humanistic element that we all possess). Accordingly, therefore, I conclude the lack of such feelings can only, therefore, proceed from Providence. Does that make sense? I think about this a lot. This grace I speak of sustains me in a way I could have never anticipated.Second, for really the first time in my life (or at least as long as I can remember), I am not encumbered by thoughts of "little things." While I have long been able to handle the big things, I’ve always let the little things ruin my day. In fact, I would typically worry about such things obsessively. I've never been able to figure this one out yet have always chalked it up to the way I'm wired, i.e., the oldest born, Type A personality, INTJ Myers-Briggs, a perfectionist, a Virgo, etc., etc. But I'm not nearly that way anymore. I've thought that maybe its apathy. Yet while I don't have any desire to succumb to early demise, I'm quite accepting of it. What in the world does that mean and/or does it make sense? Would God approve?Again, for the first time in my life, I feel unburdened from worry over the little things. The feeling is tangible. It is one of the blessings of this seemingly terrible journey.As I read over this, it seems terribly self-absorbed. I hope it doesn't come off that way - but if so, I'll call it a little thing and afford myself that dispensation.
Prepared by Chip Lilley29 June 2010
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