It happened again this past Monday. A dedicated, hard-working veteran pastor told me about the problems within his church. He listed a number of tell-tale markers as he expressed his deep frustrations. When he was done, I paused, noting the pain written across his face. I then asked: “Is it possible that your personal issues have colored or clouded your perceptions?”
Dr. Cohee is an Associate Professor of Management at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Rinker School of Business. He’s also a former business leader in the aerospace and defense sector. His personal story is instructive.
In early 2017 I defended my doctoral dissertation. The event was a landmark in my professional journey, integrating research from the academy with years of experience as a business leader. I’d graduated in record time and enjoyed a successful first career. I possessed many of the trappings that would suggest a prosperous life.
But as with many who are blessed with some achievement, there was another side to my story. My life was chaotic. I drank too much. I was in lousy physical condition. I was a mediocre father and a poor husband. For all my success as a provider, my closest personal relationships were a mess.
Not coincidentally I was in lousy spiritual condition as well. I’d committed myself to the Christian faith nearly 35 years before but was running on fumes. Like a middle-ager living in his high school glory days, spiritual progress was a distant memory. I could still talk a good game based on years of residual knowledge, but I was marking time. I’d been going through the motions for a long while.
I once had a friend call me one of those “tortured souls.” By that he meant I was clearly prone to overanalyze, over-worry, over-perform, and over-do. I was restless, impatient, discontented, and anxious. I was driven to perfectionistic extremes and addictive tendencies. Internal turbulence, disorder, and even recklessness were regular companions. Peace, stability, and harmony were not. My friend could as easily have called me one of those “disquieted souls.” And the more I lived, the more I observed that I was not alone.
I’ve listened to many Christian stories, and mine isn’t unique. We get to mid-life and we become content and lazy. We rest on our spiritual laurels—past knowledge and past service. We learn to enjoy the creature comforts of this life way too much. We stop attending to our souls, instead keeping them anesthetized with everything this life has to offer.
But God wasn’t finished with me. Bit by bit he began putting me back on the treadmill, dealing with my coping mechanisms, spiritual sloth, and addictions.
One of Cohee’s pastors, the Rev. Jerry Klemm, senior pastor of Covenant Church in Palm Bay, Florida, tells the rest of the story. It’s the story of restoring a disquieted soul.
When I first met Lane Cohee, he was in the middle of the journey he now so transparently shares. What a pleasure it has been to see his physical, spiritual, and relational transformation into the man he is today! He speaks with the voice of experience and hard-learned wisdom. Lane offers clear insights to all of us who repeatedly feel like we are one step away from failing at what is most important in life.
What about your own story? Is it possible that your personal issues have colored or clouded your perceptions? If so, Cohee’s story offers both paths of discovery and deliverance. You can watch it online at www.disquietedsoul.com.