Famous motivational leader, Earl Nightingale, said, “If you spend 15 minutes alone each day, you can solve most of the world’s problems.”

17 years ago, I began an intense study of St. Ignatius theology. The former Spanish soldier impressed me because he approached religion like a basketball coach approaches basketball. The founder of Jesuit movement, which started 1400 universities, including the likes of Georgetown and Gonzaga, taught four core values.

One of the core values is called the “Interior Journey.” Each human has a secret garden deep within their interior. The place is reserved only for the sincere seeker who is willing to take the journey alone. No one can go there with us!

In 74 years, I have never had my own sleeping room. Being alone has never been my strong suit. I love people. People light my fire. The harshest discipline as a boy was not a spanking; it was being isolated. This core value has been a challenge for me to master. It demands personal commitment on a daily basis. The Interior Journey is one of the four keys to finding true purpose in life. 

It is my conviction, using the 80/20 rule, only 20 of 100 people will choose to follow St. Ignatius’s counsel, “Find a sacred place where you take the interior journey down deep inside oneself.” This is where you find peace. It is in the silence, not the cacophony of noise, where you find freedom. This is where the God of the Universe is best found and experienced.

My wife Susie’s sacred place is in our home in the den. You can expect to see Mrs. C seated on the mantel with her back nestled against the fireplace glass wall with Bible in hand. This picture is the gift her children and grandchildren will have of Lala (Susie’s loving nickname), the rest of their lives.

For Crowell, it is in my home office; same chair. Light is very important to me so the first order of business is turning on desk and floor lamps; I do not like ceiling light. Ignatius teaches that selection and preparation for the interior journey is vital. This should not surprise us. A great meal at Susie’s table is evidence of careful, detailed preparation. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” is an overused quote; yet it is valid.

Writing these Words of Hope have done something special for me. It has fortified my need to take the interior journey every single day of my life. This means I must protect both my time and energy.  When I am too busy and too tired, I have no imagination or desire to take any kind of journey.

What will these Word of Hope do for you? It depends on how you apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of my readers will read these words then proceed on as if they had never read a word. 20% will for sure take the interior journey to the sacred place they have thoughtfully prepared.

It is wonderful that the choice is ours and ours alone. We are loved just as we are, which means we are free, to take any kind of journey. We are human beings, not human doings.  Join me in loving God, loving people, and loving life today.