The Joy of the Ride

Okay, all right, I haven’t been writing. I know. Well, that’s not actually correct. I have been writing, but not blogposts.  It has been my privilege to serve as a speaker’s coach for TEDxMileHigh, helping finish up scripts and prepare speakers to deliver their talks on the TEDxMileHigh stage. For their recent August 6 show, I was working with all seven speakers, plus emceeing the show, which meant memorizing about 40 minutes of material for the four-hour show.

The good news is that the show is over, and it was wonderful! About 1900 people filled the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, and our speakers did a great job presenting their big ideas. This is the second time I’ve had the honor of working with TEDxMH speakers, and the first time I’ve had the honor of emceeing. I love working with TEDxMileHigh.

TEDxMH is the largest TEDx in North America, and one of the largest in the world. Their team is amazing. I pinch myself every time I get to work on one of their shows. It’s also my privilege to serve as a Speaker’s Ambassador for TED, the parent organization, working with their speakers on site, leading up to and after their talks. That also is a tremendous honor.

I worked in television for about 18 years, 11 of them as an on-air host. I loved every single day of shooting in some of the most beautiful places on earth. But nothing compares to getting amazing people ready to share their big ideas on a premiere stage, and then getting to emcee that same show. There is something about a live audience.

I get a one-week break before our next batch of TEDxMileHigh speakers meet for the first time for our November 12 show. One of those speakers is my friend, Linda Kay Klein, whose book, Pure, has helped so many who grew up in purity culture.

I’ve also been doing a lot of corporate speaking this summer, which is my major source of income nowadays. I was also privileged to have a two month sabbatical, after five years planting and serving Left Hand Church as one of its founding pastors. I’ve been back preaching for three weeks now.

During my sabbatical I took a brief trip to North Carolina to speak a couple of times for the Wild Goose Festival. My favorite part of the weekend was being able to spend time with good friends, and sit for an evening with Brian McLaren, Pete Enns, Diana Butler Bass, Jim Wallis, Josh Scott, Stan Mitchell, and a couple other post-evangelical leaders. I could have listened to them talk all night long.

And oh yeah, I’ve also been learning the ropes of being a member of the Board of Trustees for the wonderful town in which I live, Lyons, Colorado. Yeah, the five-hour meetings can be a little much, but I’m learning a lot about what it takes to keep a vibrant small town healthy.

I’ve mentioned two completely new fields in which I am now working, TED/TEDxMileHigh, and small-town government. I mean, why not? Why would I slow down now? These years are proving to be the most productive of my life, with the highest return-on-investment I’ve ever experienced.

You know, the ego is interested in just two things, power and safety. It does its best to repress anything else. For decades, my ego won out over my soul. But not anymore. The ego is interested in power and safety. The soul is interested in the ride. That is what I am enjoying now – the ride.

While I was running today, I kept thinking of the last couple of lines of David Whyte’s poem, Sweet Darkness:

You must give up all the other worlds except the one to which you belong

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn

That anything or anyone that does not bring you alive, is too small for you.

 Yeah, that.