“Some folks are like umbrellas, they come into your life with little meaning. And then there’s the ones who make you hang on to every word.” – The Handsome Family, Everything That Rises Must Converge
Our conversation went moved at high speed. With him at the wheel, it was all I could do to hold on. Jeremy handled the conversation with the deft and agility of a Formula One racer. Quoting authors, motivational speakers, various ministers, and historians as if he himself were the one who had taught them what to say. He has a knack of remembering words. And is skillful at putting them into precise context. I suspect that’s a good thing for a communication specialist and someone who writes for a living.
“Tell me the smallest things about yourself so long as they are obscene and secret and filthy.” – James Joyce
In our two, one-hour conversations I would learn Jeremy is more than a lover of coffee, bourbon, and fancy pens. He is a vivacious learner. He is passionate for stories and devours books like most people with tweets. Through trial and error, Jeremy has compiled the wisdom of someone who has lived for 3,000 years. A few years ago, he ditched social media to “free space in my brain.” And still he has filled volumes of journals with his handwritten thoughts and ideas.
"You are blessed when you get your inside world - you mind and heart - put right. Then you can see God n the outside world." - Matthew 5:8, The Message
As Jeremy drove, he meandered between various topics. We often found ourselves at the intersection of work and faith. A familiar place for us both. Although he is suspicious of people who go to church, Jeremy has a wonderful obsession with Eugene Peterson’s The Message translation of the Bible (like his hero Bono, the band U2). It started with the Psalms, then just expanded from there. He is in the midst of reading the book of Proverbs, taking a small bite and savoring its wisdom. He admits he struggles to make sense of some of the bible. But that didn't stop him from declaring, “I love God. I love Jesus. I love this book. And my life makes more sense because of it than without it.”
“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – St Teresa of Calcutta
Along our journey Jeremy pointed out, “we are both evangelist” sharing our story and getting people to believe in our cause. We are passionate about life, changing minds, inspiring people to see beyond themselves and finding their potential to be world changers.
Before we met, I had no idea he had produced a successful podcast or authored numerous books. He is, on so many levels, a "wild duck" – someone who questions the way things are and challenges the status quo. I didn't dare let him know that Jesus was no different. Humble and kind, Jeremy prefers to describe himself not as a businessman or a religious man, but as, "The dad of …(names withheld)...” his identical twin daughters who were born prematurely and were not supposed to survive. But they are, thriving and succeeding, just like their father.
For a man who loved to quote others, it only seems fitting to quote something inscribed in the opening pages of his Ten Words, “You can change the world by sharing your story.”
I am grateful that he shared his with me and allowed me to share mine with him. As the trip around our world came to an end, we now have our own story to tell. It might not be worthy of a press conference, but in a way it will shock the critics who think that this social experiment isn't worthy of the hype I give it. I'm fine with that. I'm just looking forward to when he and I will talk again. Who knows, maybe I'll inspire his next quote to the next person he meets.
Fun Fact: Jeremy has never shot a crossbow simply because "I have no interest." And little did I know when we wrote our story that one of the featured stories in his book is that of Elon Musk, the inventor of the Tesla.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”