Morgan Snyder is more than my guest today. Our sixteen-year friendship is an anchor I repeatedly tether myself to for hope, truth, and joy. Our transformative reciprocity began when we were angsty younger men in our thirties. We’d commiserate together. Now we celebrate. To relieve anxiety, we’d pedal bikes in sync to reset our life’s drive train. Our strategy? To conjure more energy, with an improved approach to come through for everyone except ourselves. Now we prioritize our soul’s needs, joyfully contributing with wisdom’s restraint in fewer places. Mashing those Colorado hills, Morgan was dictating his book aloud on how we can become the kind of man that God can entrust with power. He started with one question, “What’s the most important thing?”.
This book isn’t for everyone, Becoming a King: The Path to Restoring the Heart of a Man.
Who is this book for?
It’s for the hungry, curious, and humble enough to admit maybe there is a better way. A less-traveled path that leads to abundant, sustainable life. If you’re a man who values questions over answers and journeys over destinations, this book can change your life. I’ve walked and witnessed Morgan’s excavation (a term you’ll hear him use in almost every conversation) as a man, husband, father, employee, and friend. Before his inside-out restoration, restoring the heart of a man, he was intense. Today, he’s still where he was unsettled and his winsome love and oxygenated Life with God is disarming and inviting.
-To the devout cynics, his warm “me too” rebel smile creates a safe zone to drop your guard.
-To the weary, he shows his scars underneath his flannel sleeves.
-To the polished and perfect, his empathetic, inquisitive engagement illuminates possible hairline cracks in the foundation.
For the few, the curious and open, there is a path that leads to life and few find it. Morgan is a trustworthy guide to this ancient path. Follow him. I do.
About Becoming a King
It is God’s design, desire, and intention to empower humans and entrust them to participate in the ongoing creativity of the universe. Yet a look at our history and the world around us shows that the story of most men is being entrusted with power and having that power bring harm to themselves and those under their care.
What’s gone wrong? When can you entrust a man with power?
In Becoming a King, Morgan Snyder shares that when we take a deeper pass at the external problems around us, we begin to see the problems within our souls. Yet Morgan suggests there is hope in an ancient path that leads men to become trustworthy kings.
Journey with Morgan as he walks alongside men (and the women who love and encourage them) to rediscover this path of inner transformation. Becoming a King is an invitation into a radical reconstruction of much of what we’ve come to believe about God, ourselves, and the meaning of life. It’s an invitation to a rare and remarkable fellowship of like-hearted kings and an honest conversation about what power and responsibility look like for men in our world today.
Traveling the path isn’t cheap. It isn’t easy. It isn’t quick.
But it is the heroic journey detailed within the pages of Becoming a King that leads to real life; to men becoming as solid and mighty as oak trees, teeming with strength and courage to bring to a hurting world; and to our sons, husbands, brothers, and friends becoming the kind of kings to whom God can entrust his kingdom.
About Morgan Snyder
Morgan Snyder is a grateful husband of over 20 years and a proud father of a wildly creative and witty daughter and a joyful and passionate son. He serves as a strategist, entrepreneur, teacher, writer, and speaker. His passion is to both be shaped by and shape the men and women who are shaping the kingdom of God. In 2010, he established BecomeGoodSoil, a fellowship of leaders whose global reach offers guidance for the narrow road of becoming the kind of person to whom God can confidently entrust the care of his kingdom. Morgan serves on the executive leadership team at Wild at Heart and Ransomed Heart Ministries and has contended for the wholeheartedness of men and women alongside John and Stasi Eldredge for more than two decades. He has led over a decade of Become Good Soil Intensives and sold out Wild at Heart men’s events across the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. Morgan goes off the grid every chance he gets, whether bowhunting in the Colorado wilderness or choosing the adventurous life with his greatest treasures: his wife, Cherie; his son, Joshua; and his daughter, Abigail.
Aaron: Welcome to another episode of work life play where we are on the hunt. We want it all. We want to discover sustainable rhythms in life where we can actually get out of bed and live with Gusto. We want that key guy, the purpose and meaning for why we get out of bed for what we're here to do. We want clarity on what are we here to do that only we can do in this particular way. And that may be as simple as like baking breads. And I saw a guy sharpening lawnmower blades in a very purposeful and meaningful way. So this is about meaningful work. It isn't about social media being noticed or pursuing fame. It's about accessibility to what does it mean for us uniquely to show up fully to our lives and with impact in engagement and intimacy and connection. And so today my guest and one of my best friends on the planet is Morgan Snyder.
He wrote a book, Becoming A King: The Path to Restoring the Heart of a Man. And what I love, love, love, is that Morgan and I have been on this trail together. One of the things we talk about is how the work that we do in the world is distinctly different context, but effectively the same work. And what that work is is about asking questions about what else is going on here? Where is the path that leads to life and how do we find it and why is it that so few find it? So he writes, “What's the most important thing every boy knows he was made to be powerful as an acorn carries the blueprint of the Oak tree. So the heart of every boy holds the possibility of becoming a good and trustworthy King. Yet often headlines confirm what we know from our own stories, the anguished consequences of masculine power gone awry.”
Let me read that again. The anguished consequences of masculine power gone awry. Masculinity is a need of restoration, but what is the way and how can men find it in becoming a King? Morgan Snyder after near 15 years helps men recover true courage and vulnerability. How do you become the kind of man, the kind of King to whom God can entrust his kingdom? Join Morgan and venture together along a path and into a process that restores the heart of a man. Friends, I hope this is the first of many times that Morgan and I will be together in the joy bus recording conversations like this one. You can do this. It's good for you. Keep going.
Voice book trailer: What is the most important thing? What if you had the chance? What if there was a secret treasure waiting to be found? What if there was an action path that led to life as it was meant to be? Would you take it? What if it wasn't easy? What if it wasn't cheap? What if it wasn't quick? What if there was a way to be good again to become who God meant when he met you? What if you could have? What if you could be strong, courageous again and learn to love with a ferocity and outlives your reminder? What if that's what they remember?
Aaron: Morgan Snyder becoming a King. How many years is this in the making? Then from then to now.
Morgan Snyder: Aaron, what's so beautiful is that question is for both of us because we did this together. The making was me and you side by side. You know, it was over a decade ago, almost two decades that we got connected and we were young guys bumping our heads. We were young careers, young marriages, young kids with a lot of heart, a lot of energy and a lot of questions and we didn't give up, but we started getting curious about the interior landscape of our soul. We spent a lot of time biking and bitching, right?
Aaron: Bitching, moaning. Always someone else's fault. It was always something external that you hear what happened this week? Oh, you won't believe that. You think that's bad? Wait until I tell you what they had to say. If I could just get that thing or that person out of the way, life would be, when can we get back to normal? When's it ever going to be like steady state?
You know, what I remember is my first even seeing your eyeballs light up is um, I love how God deals in geography. And for me in my life and geographically right now we're up the hill from where you used to live. We can almost see the rooftop from here and yet interestingly is like you're a continent at a soul level away from the man that used to be. So my first memory of you face to face, we were at a friend's 40th birthday and you just, you and Sherry just had Joshua, so he's 15 now, 16? You guys were new new parents and we were going through the buffet line together on opposite sides and we had kind of purposely not avoided each other but just not intentionally attempted to be friends. It was like we're busy, busy and full.
And you had a line of people always waiting to get access to you at events or different stuff. And so I remember across the buffet line, I said, so I heard you're not sleeping much. And you looked at me with these big wide eyes, like in a cocked like sideways stare, like what the hell do you know about this? And not about like my life, but about like have you been down this road before? And I had three kids. So I was like, and I said something like, yeah, I've got three. I remember. And that was the beginning of, I think we scheduled a bike ride after that.
Morgan Snyder: Well, and I also, yeah, it's, that moment was so poignant because I remember that and my memory fades in many things increasingly so. And I remember that moment and now I have to believe that there was some presence of the divine with us. But I also remember thinking, this guy is really put together on the outside, but I know he has a special needs child. And two, I didn't know much about Hadley, but I knew enough to know there's more than meets the eye. And this guy is not just a guy going through a buffet line. He has my respect for his secret life in which I'm not aware of, but I know enough to know he quietly suffers and he has hope in his eyes. So I turned to you and I remember just feeling curious, like I'd give this a chance, I'll give this, this a pint.
Aaron: Yeah. I love that. And that's such a good segue of that. First of all being true. Uh, there was more going on and that's probably been one of the biggest redemptions of my life is that there's what I would have created my life to be on my own if I could have arranged my circumstances and then that would have been, um, exactly what I didn't need. And so the divine conspiracy of my redemption, um, has been the, um, yeah, the bumpiness of my life and all the ways I wouldn't have chosen.
Morgan Snyder: And Aaron, one of the things I think it's important to name is it's not unique to us. In other words, it's available to every human being. But what I'm constantly aware of in increasing measure with every decade is fewer and fewer people, fewer and fewer people say yes, it's not that it's available to some. That's what we, we believe with a sort of false comparison. Oh that guy got a break. That guy got a lucky roll. The dice, it's available to all, there's always an on ramp to this narrow road that leads to life. But few say yes, uh, for all sorts of reasons, but it is available.
Aaron: And I was reading this morning, I'm looking at the cover of your book here, becoming a King, the path to restoring the heart of a man. And I actually just found myself in tears because I hadn't really connected the imagery. Um, with the book on the cover of the book is a bunch. It's a forest, it's a pine tree forest and most of these evergreens are green. And then there are some that stand out as what we would think of here in Colorado. Like beetle kill. Like they've, they've, they've died, they didn't make it. And I just found myself in tears this morning of, Oh, I remember that guy and that guy, the orange ones, the dead ones that that didn't make it, that didn't choose that. I remember that divorce. I remember. And I say that with empathy, compassion around each of those stories that we could tell. And I think what's so beautiful is that there is a path that we've discovered that leads to life that is really hard, but it's so worth it. So one of the quotes I wrote down from your book and from Dallas Willard is that the primary work of God is to find men to whom he can entrust his power. And the story of most men is bringing harm to themselves and those under their care. So why is this so pivotal for you in the last 15 years of your life
Morgan Snyder: Aaron, I think the first piece of response I'd offer is I believe it expresses itself in very gender specific ways. But this is deeply true to men and women. I believe at the core we were created by a creator and we were bestowed with doubt, infused with an image, a nature, a personality, a character that expresses where we came from. And in that we were given the first and all the earth is rule reign, exercise, a sort of fierce mastery over something. When you go into a home and you see beauty, fresh flowers in a vase, it says something like about the person that crafted it, right? We lived in 150 square foot wilderness lodge for six months and my wife would go and pick a few wild flowers and thankfully it was the summer the winter kicked us out of the lodge, but she would put them in this little tin shot glass and I'd walk in and the beauty would just pierce my soul. And I knew this was a domain being really cared for by a woman's touch. And then I was in charge of the the shitter. So hooking up the pipes in a 50 gallon tank. And I had that same feeling of like this domain is being cared for because when you live in a camper, you don't have the luxury of hitting flush. That flush doesn't go to some mysterious place down river. It goes to a tank called the gray water, black water you got to take care of. Right? And so what I'm struck by is that's in every person. But Aaron, the first thing I noticed was the reality of being harmed by men that were intended to bring good towards me. You know, the football coach, the baseball coach, I was a fat kid on the team. So in soccer that means you're the goalie.
That's what I was a goalie, right? And then in baseball and means you're the catcher and there was never a pair of pants to fit me the fat ass. And then in basketball, that means you're on the bench. Like it's just what happens. Well, those coaches had an opportunity to call out a strength in me and to help me get well in my body. But instead it was like shaming. And the message was, if you don't change, you're not a real boy. You'll not be a real man. Just the stories in the themes of men in trusted with a goodness that could have brought goodness towards me, a younger uninitiated boy. But instead they missed me or harmed me or used me to build their kingdom. And that's what boys in men's bodies do in the corporate world, in the church, uninitiated men, boys and men's bodies use gifting in younger men to build their kingdom.
And I felt that pain. And I also began to see it in my own life. I love this woman. I said in sickness and in health, but I'm not living it. I said till death do us part, but I'm not even willing to pay the small deaths that marriage asks of me in these first years. And so to be frank, I looked under my own hood. The check engine lights on my soul began going off. And I said, there's an incongruence between my external life and my internal life. And I know that there's life available. I know there's more joy. I know there's more peace. I know there's more trueness and integrity of soul. I've got to find it. And I won't stop until I do.
Aaron: “Men who have suffered enough to be open to the possibility that recovering a life in and with God and his kingdom is the context in which the masculine soul will flourish.” And you go on to write, “I invite you to a new beginning to stand with me at the Trailhead of a path into the wild, to risk taking one more step into the unknown, to trust that your suffering has not been wasted and to believe that you will find a good father leading the way and celebrating your courage and vulnerability at every turn. May we learn together how to become the kind of man, the kind of King to whom God can entrust his kingdom.” So when you tell that story of even being unwilling to pay the price of the small deaths, the small pains like for perspective, for those of you listening, um, never met Morgan before you, you work in full time mission, full time ministry. You're what, 17 years, 18 years, 22 years. Predominant mission is men. And then also the mission that you work within ransom heart, um, also offers ministry to women, but your focus is predominantly with men.
So you are highly qualified with thousands and tens of thousands of eyeballs, humans, people, men stories. And yet you struggled. You found it difficult to be a good man. You found it difficult to bring goodness into your life, family, children like help, help us understand because if anybody should have figured it out, yeah, the guy with three PhDs in this, wouldn't it be you?
Morgan Snyder: Right? That's the bait, right, is to figure it out. Like there's a way, there's a way to master this thing called life. What I want to suggest is that we tinker with our life with this fundamental error and it's that we are the center of our story. And no matter how good your story is, no matter how beautiful you craft it, no matter how good hearted you are as a human being, so long as you are the center of your story, it becomes a story. I love the way Bernay Brown says it. A story of engineering smallness
Aaron:...just for maximizing comfort and predictability,
Morgan Snyder: Right? I mean cause that was part of the council. I was sitting with an older, wiser guide and he said this, I was 30 years old. I was in a truck. It was in Brackenridge coming back from an alkalis elk hunt, which was the theme back in that day of being the uninitiated hunters. And I asked him some of these questions and he said, just start looking at older men. Just look across the landscape at 50 it's 60 it's 70 and asked the question, what took them out? And I realized over time that most people put their energy towards arranging for a life that maximizes security, that maximizes comfort, that requires no change on the inside and it's engineering smallness. But Aaron, what I found is that we were not created for self-sufficiency. That nature is the first text. The reality is it's all symbiotic. It all is woven into a greater system.
Much of what we cannot understand, but we must consent to participate with in order to find life. Life gives way to death so that death might give way to life. I'm looking around us in the joy bus and we are surrounded by nature and we happen to be in just the height of spring and Colorado and we're seeing green everywhere, which is not the Colorado theme, but that green is being birthed through a death. And so what I found is the self-sufficient life might be heroic in the short term, but it's simply untrue. We were made to thrive in dependency and that is so counterintuitive to, to human nature gone awry. But when you look at the great films, and I encourage you just check this out, many of the heroes are actually not independent. They are. And this is very important in authority and under authority.
They both wield, they exercise a fierce mastery. They bring a character to around, but they also are under the service of a greater King, right? That Aragorn and Frodo were being guided by Gandalf. They were not autonomous beings. That Maximus, right. The great gladiator was not an autonomous being. He was under the service of Marcus Aurelias. And so my question to you listeners, wherever this finds you, is how much are you trying to arrange for your work, for your life and your play with you being the center of your story? And as long as you're the center, that's a story you have to sustain. Thomas Keating said that story is like a bicycle wheel. It's only imbalanced when it's spinning in the center of gravity is the, it must be sustained by the self. But when we have a greater being, when we have the divine, when we have something, we'll name God at the center of our story. It's not up to us and it's not up to us to sustain.
Aaron: And when I'm reminded of is, yeah, tears in my eyes. Thinking back to those younger men that we were 15, 18 years ago, and I remember starting with the question and I just invite you, our friends listening into it is, and how's it going? So how is it going? Whether you define you at the center of your story or the divine at the center of your story, just as a quick check engine light, right?
That's where we started. Right? That was the question. We sat around, uh, five of us, eight of us over a box of Domino's pizza and some like takeout beers with a stack of advice like you just talked about from the guy driving back from Breckenridge. And we just had the question and so how's it going? What is your dashboard light, green, yellow and red experience of your life. And remember what things that came up for us back then was like I feel behind in everything I'm behind in my finances and behind in my career I'm behind with time with my kids, I'm behind with uh, adventures. I'd like to be taking a, just pick a category. I remember things like we also talked about like in marriage it was like, you know, just speaking frankly like back then it was like if we had more sex, things would be better. Right? Cause more was always the answer. Right? Well cause there was scarcity, right? It's, I'm behind and everything that was life felt not enough. Right. And so then it was, and it was always in a career setting. It was like if my boss, you know, or my company or my fill in the blank would just do a, B, and C, then I would, so it was an equation that we would talk about and that was a repeat formula. Well, if this would happen, then I would experience which would equal my contentment, you know, safety, fulfillment, whatever it may be.
And I think what I just hear as we rewind the clock is that it is a fundamental shift to go back to what is the center of my life. And if it's not divine, if it's not God, it's not some deeper thing greater than us and my son's recovery program, they call it higher power. And if there's not someone where you go for help, then then it's going to be a really tough road to high.
Morgan Snyder: And it's so hopeful, Aaron, because we're not talking about just on a macro level, okay. I believe in God as the center of my reality. I'm talking about in the minutia of everyday life. Abigail 13 Josh was turning 16 in a couple of weeks and they're both very significant moments in the Rite of passage and with joy, I can say Joshua and I are in step like I'm nailing it. He's growing like we're, we're in stride and it's just joy and Abigail, it's bumpy. I haven't found the mojo. I know in my heart what I want to shepherd for her. And I want to be a student of our heart and listen to God's story for life. But I keep missing the Mark. I mean literally till last night, like sharing. I blew it, and I'm just perplexed. But the difference is as long as I'm the center of the story and I have to be heroic dad and look good on the outside and do whatever I need to do to feel good on the inside and when an equation and instead when I know that we have a loving father that's orchestrating my daughter's initiation and her maturing into womanhood, and my job is to listen, to be attentive and to respond, taking my place in that story, Aaron, the pressure comes off.
I still don't have any answers. I still blow it all the time. Last night I completely blew it, but instead of self-condemnation I take it as, okay, we're in good hands. God's got us. This is good data. I learned and I can start the conversation this morning with, I'm sorry. I'm sorry honey. We missed your heart. What was that like for you? And so it's just so hopeful that it's in the minutiae of life. Like you're the one that taught me, you know, it's it's direction and not destination. It's two degrees shifts. It's what can I do in my power today? And that is empowering when there is something we can do in the moment and we're not the center of that story.
Aaron: You are friends that are listening. It's going to give you a second to catch your breath because I realized any one of these categories for many of you are new. Like just the concept as a parent that there's less pressure to come through and to be perfect and to deliver the goods. And when there's a shift in reality to actually the language we would use, I'm being fathered and I'm growing in my young places also. And here are places in me, son, daughter, wife, friend that are unfinished and we use the phrase about not yet, I'm not yet the man, the dad, the husband, the employee, the leader, the friend. I long to be in that thing you see in me. Yeah, I see too. And man, I'm sorry that it's hard for me. I can only imagine how it must be hard for you. And that's such a fundamental shift. Cause I remember in the beginning, my aim, I'm not sure if you're as much in the same way as my aim was to how long till this is over.
Morgan Snyder: Always always looking for that finish line. Right. Just like that feeling of being behind in everything. There was always a finish line that was just around the bed.
Aaron: And I just need you to tell me how long till we get there and how might I get there sooner. So this will be over in this being, this, this pain, this discomfort, these gaps, this relationship pain, this career angst this like, because clearly the people that above the water line have mastered the art of living to maximize for comfort, predictability and safety and smallness. Yes, they clearly must be happy and they figured something out. So our objective in life must be to invite God into whatever plans that we have to prosper ourselves. Like I heard a friend say the other day, he said, yeah, you know what? I used to spend a lot of time like doing stuff and then inviting God to show up to us. And he said, now I only do stuff that God's inviting me into. And this is a 54 year old guy who had a bunch of, he's had a bunch of bumps on his head. So I think this foundational shift about there actually is a way of living and this is not like a religious go to church, uh, subscribed to this brand or that brand and all this formalities and rituals and get your shit straight and do it right. This is like no, like the, the foundations of the earth are creator, like actually live in rhythm and relationship with which sounds, I'm probably, I'm guessing to some just mind boggling or weird or something
Morgan Snyder: As you share, what I feel is rising hope because I've lived it to find it to be true. I have tested it and found it to be reliable as my wife would say or God would say is this idea of becoming a King or you could use the term becoming a queen. It's becoming the kind of person that God is glad to entrust the care of more and more of what he's created, whether it's animals, land, people, companies, families. That path and process is available to all and there is always an on ramp. And so as an example, my son last year turned 15 and what I was blindsided by was my discomfort, my awkwardness when he started making good choices, good age, appropriate choices of 15 year old. What flushed, it took me three months to figure this out, was young places, the 15 year old boy in me, because that age was very pivotal and I didn't remember, I didn't have visibility to that part of my story until I had a 15 year old me outside of my body and saw what a healthy 15 year old does and went, “I had no category.”
And that's when I started being aware of what all named trauma of just harm to the soul that caused me to come to some really untrue beliefs about myself, about God, about where life is found. And so I'm orchestrating my son's initiation into manhood. But as you said, there's always an OnRamp. And so I realized God was actually inviting me to be alongside at the same time. And so there's parts of me that are 42 but there were parts of me that were 15 that needed the same initiation as my son needed to learn the way things were to learn how to handle a tool, how to handle a weapon, how to handle a book, how to handle a woman's heart with integrity. It is a path and it is a process, but it does work if you consent to the slow and steady and that just flies in the face of the world.
But we've had the privilege of seeking out counsel of older men and to sit with an elder with with a tear in his eye and with a light in his eye and say you think a decade is a long time but wisdoms, long view is a guy in his seventies what he would do to rewind the clock to wherever you are today and say what if you gave 10 years to say the primary energy is not about building my kingdom but about allowing God partnering with something greater than me to become the kind of person that can be entrusted that decade will reap a harvest that you benefit from an ROI for decades and any internety from now.
Aaron: Two things as you're talking through. One is just this phrase that you use and we use often is becoming cool and wholehearted and that being a process and that that does require consent in each of us, men and women, there is strength available and the particular expression of it is uniquely male and uniquely female and in how you offer it. There is something in you that is strong to be released in service of goodness and others not in service of self. And back to the opening stories of even in the book you name is the, you know, here's the tiger woods story and here's the Joe Paterno story and here's the Lance Armstrong story and these great men doing great things who fall and then we find out the fullness of the story, right and it's back to most men is, is about bringing harm to themselves and those under their care. I see it a lot in the corporate space over my career and really I would say I've been able to bear witness to the harm of uninitiated young men becoming entrusted with power and whether that is like in all the arenas you mentioned from church to corporate to wherever it is.
So then this pivotal moment of will you consent? Remember just weeping watching this horse that has one of its front hooves tied up to itself and it just will not relent. It won't, it won't let Tom Booker the horse whisper, he won't concede. He won't allow his strength to be under harness usefulness in the service of this lovely girl who's also been harmed in this. So the scene is, was so powerful for me of realizing, wow, that's me. Look at what a fuss I put up because I refuse to allow my strength to be in service, in love under the reign and rule of love. And so that I can actually feel and experience light and easy. And then as that 15 year old boy in me, 12 year old boy, me, eight year old boy in me, those parts of me can be come along, right?
I don't have to have, just cause I didn't get it right or get what I needed the first pass through, I'm not done. And that's such a liberating truth to then to begin to realize like actually in this foundational shift of the way to experience life is I'm no longer, it's no longer up to me. It's not all on me. Yes, we're doing this together. And my dad's got it. And in that light and easy, right? Then we can begin to do things in service, which all of a sudden fundamentally shifts our experience of it daily. Right, and yet there is a choice, right? You named a fundamental shift, but that's seated in a choice. There comes a time in a person's life where they have to relent. AWS, Azure, brilliant scholar says God waits to be wanted. He doesn't force himself in love. He waits to be wanted.
Morgan Snyder: When we're busy, he's quiet and he waits for us to be ready. Pilgrim that horse, it took a lot of suffering for him to be ready. I know one of our mentors, he says it often, he says, well, have you gotten to your bottom yet? Because everyone has a bottom and there's a lot of people and there's some people listening that they haven't gotten through a bottom so they can come back to this podcast a year from now, decade from now. It'll help them then, but we have to come to our bottom. You know, one mentor said it this way, that in the end we have two choices. One is humility, the other is humiliation, but there is no third choice. So what will you choose? And that word humility hearkens back to what you said, Aaron. It's not this deference, it's not a softness. It's a strength harnessed. It's a strength, a glory, a brilliance, a gifting brought under rule, right under the care and connection with something beyond itself. And so the choice friends, it is humility or humiliation. But when we come to a point understanding that in this instance there's not a third way. There's a kind question being asked of what would you choose
Aaron: In authority and under authority, inter dependence. Dependence, right? Not in dependence, right? The self-sufficient life or the integrated into the source of life. What will you choose? Look good on the outside so that you can feel good, question mark on the inside. And that best question, right for even where we began is like, and so how's it going? Yes. Are are we, are you, am I experiencing the life that I know at a soulful level? Like I know there's more possible. And I think that's a super helpful place to start is, is the experience of my life what I actually had longed for, not liking into me like a materialistic, superficial way.
Morgan Snyder: Not the external metrics, but the internal experience of everyday life. Exactly. Because the hope and the promise of this message is this is what's available in the here and now. It's cultivated over time, but you can become the kind of person that regardless of your circumstances and apart from any outcomes, any determined outcomes, you can have joy, you can have meaningful relationships, you can have robust wellbeing in your soul, and that's the hope that it's not conditional on external realities.
Aaron: The opening chapter in the book, you have a quote from Dante’s Inferno, “Midway along the journey of our life, I woke to find myself in a dark wood for, I had wandered off from the straight path, how hard it is to tell what it was like. This would have wilderness, Savage and stubborn. The thought of it brings me back and all my old fears, a bitter place. Death could scarce be bitter, but if I would show the good that came of it, I must talk about other things then the good.” I'm just curious on that. Why was that the opener?
Morgan Snyder: It's a good question because I think as you read that, and I allow my soul to just be immersed in it and saturate in it, I realize our pain is a really kind guide. I remember reading a fascinating book by Parker Palmer who is a man I deeply respect and he talked about depression and he has had some dark depression and he said among other things, it was a kind teacher once he was willing to be perceptive to it, that it was instructing him, it was pointing him to the good. And so I think that it's our ache and our longing that points us to true North. And so the listeners of this podcast, you listen to this because you are among the thirsty ones. You are among the curious ones. You are rare in the world and to listen not only to your desire, but to listen to your pain, to listen to your shame, to listen to your regret. Those are among other things, really kind guides to point you back to the path of light.
*We’ve done our best for this transcription to accurately reflect the conversation. Errors are possible. Thank you for your patience and grace if you find errors that our team missed.
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