Today, being a day off (because I didn’t get to take my holiday day last week), I tried to stay off the computer most of the day, or I would be tempted to work.
So I read Me, Myself and Bob, by Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales.
- It was funny. I like funny!
- Phil is a creative genius. I like creative geniuses too.
- He’s only one year older than me, which helped me relate to him better.
- Phil had a great interest in computers and animation. That was actually my dream as a child for a career — the reason I first went into computer science at college… til I found out that I was terrible at math. End of short career for me! (They didn’t have computer art degrees back then since computers were just starting to make inroads at college.)
- I respected and admired his heart for God and desire to follow God’s calling on his life.
- There was a lot of stuff on organizational leadership (or lack thereof). I find leadership fascinating.
However, it was very sad to hear how the company fell apart. The end of the book was the best though, talking about the aftermath of once the company died and his spiritual journey afterwards.
It was a very thought-provoking book for me, and I appreciated his transparency about his failures. It’s tough to be honest like that.
The book re-emphasized to me the need for strong leadership tempered with listening to God and nurturing our relationship with him. It’s very easy for us to get caught up in making goals and plans, but if they aren’t from God, it’s all ashes. Often I find it hard to distinguish between what are God’s plans and what are my plans?
Ironically, in a pastoral role, it’s so easy to get caught up in leadership, people, and church stuff, and ministry becomes part of life, rather than focusing on relationship with Christ. This book was a good reminder of the priority of nurturing our walk with Christ
It was also interesting that he said that idolatry is anything that we are unwilling to give to God, as Albert and I are preaching on the topic of “American Idols” in August. How easily it creeps up on us so that we don’t even notice!
The book talked over and over about dreams and pursuing them. It was heartbreaking how Phil had a dream and it came to be — and then died. I do not think I have any dreams any more… and maybe that is a good place to be, because it leaves one open to God’s working and direction. I used to have dreams (get published, organize a really big event, make a wedding dress (ok, this one never happened)) but perhaps now I am older and more content (I hope!).
There’s a balance between contentment and drive though. Too much contentment, and life becomes dull and opportunities lost. Too much drive, and there’s no opportunity to experience and enjoy the life God has given us. I like how Bill Hybels coined the phrase “holy discontent.” That’s what I want in my life… contentment that comes from God, yet the discontent that comes from wanting to make a difference and the desire to see God work.
Reading the book also made me glad I’m not famous. Handling fame and the pace and demands that come with it is a heavy burden. I am very happy to be incognito and relatively unknown!