I stand 10 people back in line waiting to speak with a grey haired, blue-eyed, well dressed man. He has a quiet smile that lights up his face as each person in line hands him a book to sign and thanks him for being at The Storyline Conference .
After trading names, he laughs about how difficult it is to come up with something meaningful and original to sign in every book. I laugh with him and when I get my book back I open it to see the word “Jump” written on the title page.
He tells me there’s a difference between jumping and falling. And if you’re going off the edge either way, it’s always better to jump.
Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir…of sorts
Ian Morgan Cron is the author of “Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir…of sorts”. He is an Episcopal priest, speaker, and acclaimed author.
The book follows Ian’s life as he grows up with an alcoholic father who beats him, ignores him, and yells at him constantly. Throughout the book he blames himself for his father’s behavior and tries everything he can to win the man’s love.
First he tries being bad. In one chapter he talks about finding several old road flares in his basement. Him and a group of boys cut the flammable gunk from each of them, put it in a pile, and light it on fire. It’s so brilliantly bright it almost blinds them! And although it gains the respect of his peers, it doesn’t bring his father’s love.
A few years later he changes to being the good kid, hoping his father will finally accept him. A straight-A student, he proves that he can accomplish great things while living in an abusive house; but no matter what he tries he can never gain the love of his father.
It’s near the end of his high school tenure that he starts drinking. Over the years he parties, he drinks with breakfast, he almost dies a few times, and somewhere in the middle of it all he finds God.
It’s not an easy find by any means. It starts when he is very young. He meets God during his first communion. His love of God fades quickly as his father’s alcoholism gets worse. But in high school he meets a friend who reintroduces him to God.
From then on, Ian lives a double life. He teaches Sunday school on Wednesday and parties until he blacks out on Thursday. It’s a constant battle between him, God, and his father.
Does Ian overcome? Does the story have a happy ending? Did he write this book between sips of beer? You’ll have to read to find out.
After The Conference
The conference is over, most everyone has left, and the book signing line has disappeared. The man who wrote “jump” leans against the stage pondering what he will do next. I take the opportunity to talk to him.
Behind his eyes is a deep wisdom; one that comes from years of abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father and his own struggles with the bottle. He smiles at me as I tell him about quitting my job, and using what I’ve learned at the conference to tell my own story.
He only interrupts me once.
I tell him I want to write a book and he cuts me off before I can continue the sentence.
“Do it.” He says quietly; confidently.
My heart shakes. My words stumble. Never before in all my life have two words so shook me to the core. I realize suddenly how hard it will be to pursue my dream. I realize that writing is going to be one of the most difficult things I ever do. And I realize that it’s worth it; that I am going to do it.
To say I enjoyed this book is an understatement. It moved me. It spoke to my heart. After reading it I understood where the man I spoke to got his quiet confidence from. It was a lifetime of pain that turned into a love of the true father: God.
What does this have to do with entrepreneurship, with money, or with starting a business? A lot.
Ian’s memoir proves that any life can change.
If you are stuck in a rut that has consumed you; if you feel like your lot in life is permanent; if you want to get out of your job, take control of your money, and finally live with purpose; or if you want to read a good story pick up “Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me” at the link below or any good bookstore.
Stop falling, start jumping.
Where are you falling instead of jumping?