3 thoughts on walking your unique path — Phil Rice

I will be measured only by what He asked of me [his path for me]

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I will not be measured by what others expected of me, I will be measured only by what He asked if me. 

This is from my process in the article Church. Do I fit the model? more than organization. And I think it’s worth spending a little time expounding…

This is reality. I will stand before God one day. I will be measured by my obedience to him in how I walked my singular path, not in the way I walked parallel to the path of another. We glean from one another. But at the end, we stand before God —alone— accounting for our purpose and life. Kind of a heavy statement. But like everything else, we have the opportunity to walk these things out with slow, simple, intentionality.

1. Live as the exception

Don’t assume that just because this is how everyone does it, that this is how you must do it [whatever the “it” happens to be]. The common way forward is not your compass bearing. Your way forward is your compass bearing.

And the great thing is, we each have the opportunity to live as the exception. We are so uniquely gifted and diversely wired [and diversely weird] that we have the opportunity to chart a course that is unique to us and our own flavor.

When I was in the throws of starting Ember, there were plenty of reasons why it would fail and only a few reasons why it would succeed. I scribbled ‘live as the exception’ on a note on my desk and looked at it every day [sometimes several times a day… what a wild ride]. I wasn’t saying, ‘Man… I’m way better than everyone else, of course I can do this.’ It was simply a commitment to myself to fully be myself in my role and to reach past what was expected. It was about approaching this [differently].

2. Fear is not a good enough excuse

Fear is not a good excuse. But it is a good indicator of something that I have an opportunity to move beyond. I like the way Kris Vallotton said it, ‘the dogs of doom stand at the doors of our destiny.’ I’m into that. What are we afraid of? How can we move beyond those doors?

Fear of lack should not keep us from our path. We can always get by on less than we think we can. What if we have to downsize [or have a few roommates! which is one of our favorite things, btw…]? What if we have to sell one of the cars [or buy an old one… or drive a scooter, hey!]? What if we have to relocate [or not relocate]? For our family, these are completely valid solutions for being financially freed up to follow the road that God has set in front of us. The adventure far outweighs the cost of things. [Tim Ferriss has a really simple and fantastic exercise called Fear Setting to pinpoint and move beyond our fear. check it out.]

Fear of reputation should not keep us from our path. What if no one is into what I’m [selling, making, writing, creating, producing]? What if no one agrees with my [thoughts, perspective, religious beliefs, political persuasion, food choices, lifestyle decisions, career path]? Well… what if they don’t? I find that there will be those who don’t agree with you. All that means is that you are actually articulating something out loud. But you will also find others who are more in line with your way of thinking than you thought. You will most likely find someone who loves your creations/perspective.

3. God refreshes and revives along the way

As I am true to myself and the path God has placed before me [the life I was made to live], our conversation [mine and his] about that path is authentic. I find that I need him more as the path winds and turns. This path is uncharted. And there’s no one else on it.

I’m led by God. I’m truly able to know him as the good shepherd. I don’t need to be led by another when I already know the direction or the outcome. I need a guide when I only know the next step… and then the next step after that.

Through the process of walking the path in front of me, God really does refresh my inner being, my heart. How cool to be able to know him in such a way that daily, we have interaction about real experience [reviewing financials, raising children, completing projects, engaging people, navigating marriage, hiking in nature, walking downtown]. He is with us and desires to guide us on our path that he intended for us. We will find life there. We will find him there.

And remember, this life [your path] is a beautiful adventure

As I mentioned at first, when I stand before God at the end of my life, I will not be measured by what others expected of me, I will be measured only by what He asked if me. But what he asks of me so aligns with who he created me to be. This is not a bleak existence. This is a beautiful adventure.


Any of this resonate? I’d love to continue the conversation and hear your thoughts.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice


Oh yeah, and if you resonate with this article, consider joining the conversation more regularly! I send out a super helpful [I think it’s helpful] short email with [5] highlights of content over the last month [or so], my 5-things email — meaningful content for the religiously disillusioned [or spiritually tired] seeking to practically and authentically follow Jesus in real life.


Phil writes like he speaks – with a God-centered, challenging, winsome humility. He gives permission to reflect on the edge about what it means to be the Church. — Lance H.


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