Phil was nearly 70 when I met him 30 years ago. He’ll be 100 soon. Phil doesn’t know it, but I think of him as one of the people who speaks wisdom into my life.
Do you have a favorite word? Phil’s favorite word is balance.
Most of us are out of balance and suffering for it.
We think we’re in danger from bad things but those bad things rarely materialize. Our problem is that we’re pulled out of balance by our strong attraction to good things.
You are resourceful. You get things done. You are a person of accomplishment. You will never be destroyed by those who stand in your way and try to push you back.
The danger is from those who stand behind you and push you forward. “Go! Go! Go! You’re almost there! Just a little bit more! You can make it! Hooray! You da’Man! Keep it up! No pain, no gain! You can do this! Woo-hoo!”
It’s our nature to take good things too far.
A strong work ethic is a good thing. Every unbalanced workaholic has one.
Compassion is a good thing. Every burned-out minister knows this.
Recognition is a good thing. Just ask any celebrity who has forgotten who they are.
We read in the Bible that Jesus would often leave the crowds he was teaching and disappear into the wilderness. My suspicion is that he hung out with Lazarus – the brother of Mary and Martha – during these times because Lazarus cared about Jesus the man more than he cared about Jesus the worker of miracles. I think maybe Lazarus was a “safe” person for Jesus, meaning that he made no demands on Jesus, and that’s why Jesus wept when Lazarus was gone and why he called him back from the grave.
At least that’s how it happens in the screenplay I’m writing.
Everyone needs a wilderness into which they can disappear. They need safe people to be around, friends who make no demands on them.
Although we officially call Wizard Academy “a school for the imaginative, the courageous and the ambitious,” our students have laughingly called it “a summer camp for grown-ups” ever since we launched this place 14 years ago. Lately I’ve been thinking they might be right. In fact, we’re so often compared to Peter Pan’s island of Neverland that our next student mansion will officially be called, “The House of the Lost Boys.”
Seriously, I’m not making that up.
I like to believe that Wizard Academy is the desert island where Jesus would have hung out with Lazarus when he needed to get away from the pressing crowds. And I like to believe this is where you will come when you need to do the same.
And one last thing: according to Robert Louis Stevenson, this is the island where the treasure is buried.
Roy H. Williams
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