Learning To Fly

Long before the sun began to rise, I found myself sitting on the peak of a trail overlooking the city of Spring Hill. To my left are the shimmering lights of the city below, barely stirring.  To my right is an array of unspoiled majestic rolling hills, iconic to the state of Tennessee. My intention this morning was to deliver a freshly brewed Thermos of coffee to my friends on the graveyard shift of a 12-hour prayer ministry our church was hosting. But life doesn’t always happen as you expect.

I had it all planned out perfectly. Last night I played percussion at the kickoff of this prayer time until late at night. I came home and laid out an arsenal of cold weather running gear necessary for temperatures in the low 20’s, added fresh grounds to the coffee machine, and placed my running backpack next to the Thermos. All so I wouldn’t have to utilize my groggy brain in the wee hours of the morning.

This prayer session was intended to extend from 6pm until 6am. As I approached the church around 5:20am, I found the lights off and doors locked. (I sincerely hope I’m not ratting out somebody for leaving early!) So with a freshly brewed container of hot coffee on my back, and snow falling on my face, I decided to run to this nearby trail to enjoy the hot beverage while finishing out the prayer cycle in a quite time by myself.

I would like to say that I devoted the entire time with focused energy praying over our city and region. But the truth is that I was quite distracted by Jon Acuff in my earbuds telling me that I was an absolute idiot for quitting my job a few weeks earlier.

The night before any long run I always queue up a music playlist or audiobook to enjoy (or to simply help me wake up) as I get moving. For whatever reason last night, Jon’s book Quitter came to mind. I consider his brother a dear friend and I’ve known about the book for a few years, but never bothered to pick up a copy. So before I put my head down to sleep, I began downloading the audiobook for my run commencing in a few hours.

The first chapter of the book is titled “Don’t Quit Your Day Job”. Mixed with several amusing stories of the terrible positions Jon held, the chapter outlines practical reasons why you should focus on building your life’s dream while remaining at your current job in order to satisfy the many required obligations of life. All the while, developing a plan and working iteratively towards making a transition. I can’t say I disagree with anything I've heard so far, and look forward to finishing the rest of the book.

The world and all reason and logic tells me I shouldn’t have quit my job. They’re right. The timing doesn’t make any sense. The strategic planner in my head is screaming “What are you doing? Are you crazy? You know this isn’t the right time! You don’t have all of the next steps lined up yet. Who would want to work with someone who ‘hears from God’, telling them to quit their job?"

What I'm struggling with through all of this is:

  • I do have a dream and a vision for both a business and a life that would take a long time to build.
  • There is not a clear path to deriving any substantial income from this vision in the short-term.
  • The Lord clearly told me to leave my current job. Immediately. As difficult as this was for me, I trusted Him and was obedient.
  • I still do need to find work in the immediate present to provide for my family to meet financial obligations.
  • Especially with my non-Christian business associates, I fear how these recent actions could negatively affect my ability to find work.

The thing about my most recent job and career trajectory is there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with it. I was very well paid, and continued to be placed in increasing positions of influence and authority. I am considered a highly qualified digital product manager and business executive. I’m pretty good at what I do.

But, something has been missing. That desire I have to execute the next steps required to achieve my life’s dreams and purpose have been stuck dormant for far too long. I feel the reason God called me out to leave my position is the same reason Hernán Cortés instructed his small invading army to burn the ships they arrived in, which led to the Spanish conquest over the Aztec Empire. He left his troops no alternative but to fight desperately for their lives.

God designed me to do great things and to soar. This I know. What I’m uncertain about is exactly why he would call me out in such a dramatic fashion; seemingly pushing me off the side of a cliff waiting for me to figure out how my wings work.

The truth is, I still don’t know know exactly what is going to happen next. I can, and will, continue to make plans. Plotting and toiling towards what I think could or should happen. But, like my well intentioned coffee run this morning, life doesn’t always happen as you expect. What I do know is that sometimes the greatest things that happen to us in life are those you accidentally stumble upon. However, to stumble you must first be moving. No battle has ever been won marking time in parade formation.

Yes, I am now more actively working on my life’s dreams, but I am also networking like crazy and applying to any opportunities that seem fascinating. My default position is to action. Please do contact me (linkedin.com/in/marckrejci) if you know of some interesting position I should consider, or if there is anything I could possibly do to help you in your endeavors. Even if just over a lunch or coffee meeting.

I fully and wholeheartedly trust that the Lord will position me exactly where He intends. Faith is something that is difficult to rationalize and make sense of. But I do believe the scripture is God-breathed. So when I read Jeremiah 29:11, Hebrews 11:1, or Deuteronomy 5:33, I can’t help but to be assured of His promises for my life.

Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy. -- Deuteronomy 5:33

If you know me at all, you know about my love for the outdoors and my adventuresome spirit. So it wouldn’t surprise you to learn that a large part of my life dreams happen, quite literally, out in the rugged expansions of the wilderness. So as I sip my unplanned coffee upon the high-point in Spring Hill positioned between the city lights and the vast rolling hills, I know that it will be the intentionality of my actions that ultimately get me to exactly where God intends. Even if it’s not what I had planned in perfect detail in advance.