My plane landed at the Charlotte airport 6:30 am Thursday morning. My plan to sleep the 5 hour flight from California to North Carolina was an utter failure. I grabbed my bag off the carousel, dashed to the shuttle, fired up the rental car and set my GPS for 3000 Tilley Morris Rd. I arrived with minutes to spare!
I settled myself in the back of the room so that I could get up, stand and pace to keep myself awake and engaged. Lack of sleep necessitated this strategy.
NOW the impressions began to build, and we were just getting started! Too many really. They grew exponentially -bustling, clamoring, pulling at my sleeves, tugging on my jeans and tapping my shoulder. It was as if my children were young again competing for my attention, except then there were two, now they were countless. “Dad. Dad. Dad! Dad. Dad! Daaad!”
I put them on a “time-out”. There would be time for debriefing and post event processing later.
Now that I’m sitting in (instead of running through) the Charlotte airport waiting for my flight home, it’s time to process and decompress the input from the last three days.
The CIA leadership consisted of eight distinct personalities, endowed with different strengths and approaches to our shared passion for Apologetics. Each individual complimented the others, creating a whole much greater than the parts. Witnessing the dynamics of this team during the Q&A sessions when they stood together in the front of the room to answer our questions was itself worth the tuition! Augmenting another’s illustration or line of reasoning here, interjecting a friendly dig there, continually weaving seriousness, humor, banter and laughter into their collective responses. It was fun, informative and a joy to behold! They worked well together and enjoyed each other’s company because, I think, as J. Warner Wallace put it: we share a common Father, not just a common belief system, or worldview.
I have to give credit to Frank Turek for opening up his program to what would be considered competitors in the secular world.
And too there were many different types of attendees. I personally enjoyed interacting with as many as the short time permitted –my only regret is that I didn’t have more time to invest in getting to know each of them more. Now it’s over and we are all dispersed to the four corners of the Earth.
It’s never what we experience in an event like this, rather, it is what we take away that is important. What we retain. What we incorporate into our own DNA. I’m already a better person for being there. My ability to speak before others without notes, with a beginning, a middle and an end that ties it all together has improved. The pressure of setting the date and giving myself no choice but to present my message forced the changes, and the feedback from my peers and instructors was an indispensable catalyst. I am indebted to Dr. Richard Howe and Brett Kunkle for their insights and feedback on my presentations.
I did get more out of CIA this year than last, even from the presentations that were repeated. It’s because I have changed, grown and developed more pathways for connecting new knowledge and wisdom. I am not the same person as last year by leaps and bounds. Yet, I can see as I go forward that I could have done more to develop my growth -but this is hindsight. Rather than beat up the past I can use the insights of my hindsight to move forward more efficiently.
J. Warner Wallace wrapped up the event by reiterating his call for us to get off our “butts” and “do something!” What were we waiting for?! I love this guy! He is a natural leader of men, says it like it is and has boundless contagious enthusiasm! His was a rallying cry to us all that care about the Gospel of Reason to “do something now!”
He again repeated that we should blog every day!
What?! I didn’t want to hear that.
I’ve blogged 16 times this year! Isn’t that good enough? Nope! Not if you want readers! Not if you want to reach people and help change the world! They may read only every 4th or 5th blog, but they know that each time they go to your website there will be something new. The most successful bloggers write EVERY DAY!
Ok, ok, but…
[Now I’m thinking… “Uh, can I say something? Hmmm, better not ask: I’ll blurt it instead!”].
It won’t be perfect!
“Don’t worry about perfection! Don’t be concerned with misspelled words! This is not an article, this is not a book: it’s a blog! Just 500 words! Stop making excuses and do it! If you don’t have time make the time! Don’t take the time from your spouse either! Get up earlier; sleep less!”
At least he wasn’t telling me I also had to run for an hour each morning after writing my blog as he does.