The ‘Start’ book

Have you ever had one of those moments when something happens or you read something, and for whatever reason, and for the season you are in, that thing seems very profound to you?

I’ve been reading Jon Acuff’s book, ‘Start’. It’s a great book on starting vs. not starting and remaining in the same place your entire life. It covers the stages we go through on that journey to, as Jon puts it, ‘awesome’.  Jon is very witty and a great story teller – you will feel like you’re there.  I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I am several days into the book and on page 104 I read the following paragraph:

Learning is about addition. Editing is about subtraction.

In the land of Editing, you’re going to take the fifteen or fifteen hundred things you learned and see which ones seem to stick to you. What passions, dreams, hopes, and callings will you be carrying deeper into this journey with you? Which will you leave on the side of the road for someone else to pick up? They are not broken or ruined; they are simply not for us. They are part of someone else’s unique definition of awesome.

After reading the last two lines, I felt grieved. It was weird. Weird because it was a grieving on 2 fronts – one, that I’ve pursued things for a long time that are not part of me, even though I am good at them, and second, for needing to leave, at the curb, the thing that I’ve built, that’s not me – to be awesome at the thing God made me to be.

I’m not sure which is more grievous to me. However, when I imagine leaving what I’ve been doing on the side of the curb and see it there in my mind. I say, “but God, I’ve done that so long and doing new things are hard.” And when thinking of the idea of someone else picking it up… reminds me about the time I sold my old guitar – I never used it but it was sad to let it go.

A pastor of mine once said, “Sometimes you need to give up a few things, in order to do a few things well”. So, this is part of my walk with Christ. To understand a bit about how I got where I am, but more importantly to follow where he leads.

Is God leading you to something? What things do you need to put to the curb?




  1. Thanks for sharing Jay. I’m picking up the book tomorrow. I’ve seen some of the intro videos for it. I believe I am in an “editing” phase, being led to learn and do new things and walk away from a profession/vocation that I’ve been doing for 15 plus years.

    I’m kind of relating the “editing” to “pruning.” John 15. Finding it so very hard to walk away from the things I am confortable doing and enthusiastically moving toward what I feel I am being led do. Baby steps…

    1. Ahh, yes – “I am the true vine, and my Father is the Gardner…” It may not seem pleasant to us at the time, but he does the job well bro! – Master Gardner!
      Seems we’re in much the same season. I just wish I didn’t have to fight the unworthiness I feel, but we – people like you and I – get up one more time. Our hearts struggle with settling, so we don’t – one baby step at a time.
      I had to laugh just now… I like battle cries, though you’ll probably never catch me doing one but I was just imagining shouting, “For Gideon and for the LORD!”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *