How We Get There"
Speaker - Rev. Richard Ottoway
Outline of Talk
- Introductory Comments
- The Principle of Equifinality: There's an infinite number of equally
valid ways to arrive at the same end state.
- I've looked for spiritual concepts that might be imbedded in secular
- There are many ways to find the same things in life, including
God. Jesus has said that the only way is through Him.
- People who want to make their spiritual way in a secular world look
for many ways to get there. There are many gates and pathways;
Jesus is attending every gate. Different people take different
- The Journey Is the Key to Resiliency
- However, we never really get there, it's the process, the
journey, that is the key to maintaining resiliency.
- The longer we pursue the journey, the inquiry, the better it
gets. Though the notion that we'll not get there can be
discouraging, we can be happy that we get to keep on journeying.
- But we tend to like "the box". It provides surety,
comfort, etc. It provides goals, answers. But the box is
- For a Christian, a proper relationship to his work is derived from his
knowing what his work (not his job) really is. Ask: Why am
I here? What should I be doing? The problem is, most of us
are looking at our jobs, not our work.
- In the world, there is much stimulus to get us to earn, to decorate
ourselves, etc. Not much time for sharing and contemplation.
- One way to make oneself share is to keep a journal.
Besides a personal journal, I keep journals of my courses. These
have helped me adjust my courses to include new and better material.
- I recommend journaling. I got into it when I became depressed
and couldn't find anyone to talk to in a meaningful way. I don't
make daily entries; I'm an episodic journalist. I'm looking for
- Mission Statements
- A current mode: Corporations are writing mission statements. In
good times, companies don't need to be concerned about what they
are. But in turbulent times, companies start asking, "What am
- I began a personal mission statement when I was contemplating
returning to the U.S. from the U.K. Back in the States, I gave up
one of my jobs because the heavy commutation kept me from pursuing that
- The Need for Contemplation
- Early in my career, I was so busy, I was running so fast, that I did
not contemplate, so I did not learn much from what I was doing.
Now I'm running less and contemplating more.
- I've spent my later career out of the "box". I've
found it to be more varied and more fun. As a teacher, I encounter
more different kinds of cultures and attitudes that I'd have seen as a
rector of one church.
- Of course, we have to consider the pay check, too. It's a
constant tension. When I was 50, I decided I had to become
self-sufficient by the time I was 70. Last year I was 70; I
contacted TIAA-CREF, whose representative told me I could make it.
(Although that would have to be in eastern North Carolina, not in New
Jersey, where I want to be; so I'm still working.)
- Questions & Answers
- Kevin Dolan: I've had outplacement candidates who turn down $250,000
jobs because they had been in $500,000 jobs. (They regretted it
later.) We have a value system that promotes income and social
status as measures of who we are.
(The notes of this outline were taken by David
G. Price. They were wordprocessed by Patrick Lyons.
These notes may not be reproduced without the written permission of the
This page was last edited on August 10, 2003 by Patrick Lyons.)