136. When The Shepherd Must Find His Own Way with Matthew Brackett

FINE is a 4-Letter Word

Apr 18 2024 • 42 mins

When you go out to find yourself, the journey can take you places you didn’t imagine you’d ever go.

Maybe it will take you to a different town, or even a different country.

But once you get there, it’s possible you’ll discover you really need to go somewhere else. Kind of like in the book The Alchemist.

Matthew Brackett felt the calling to go into seminary life from an early age, and it seemed to align with the values he was raised with.

Growing up as the 10th of 13 children, he was fortunate that his father made enough money to cover the expenses, even if there weren’t a lot of luxuries, and to afford a house that had five bathrooms.

As a child, Matthew was exposed to the core values of generosity and helping others, which was natural in such a large family in a house that also included other people who stayed with the Bracketts if they were down on their luck. Service, generosity, helping others, and sacrifice. There was also the vision of the transcendental, the idea that you’re a small piece of a bigger picture.

Combining all this with Matthew’s need to live beyond the small town where he grew up, joining the priesthood seemed a natural next step as it took him all around the world serving thousands of people. First, he studied for 10 years, then served as a priest for 20 years, including as a chaplain in the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

Everything seemed fine – but Fine is a 4-Letter Word.

The problem was that while his life’s work aligned with his values of generosity and service, he found that he was not serving himself.

Ultimately, he decided to take a year off. During that year, he spent four months as an inpatient learning about himself, before returning to his hometown and living with his dad while working menial jobs and collecting new experiences.

Today, he coaches with individuals, couples, companies, and organizations of all sizes, whose leaders sometimes don’t quite know what to make of a former priest. Is he going to force his beliefs on them? Does his background give him the ability to see different points of view? Does he have the experience?

Matthew is now three years into his new journey, and once again he is finding his niche as a small piece of a new bigger picture.

Matthew’s hype song is “Back in Black” by AC/DC.

Resources:


Invitation from Lori:

If, like Matthew, you get to where you set out to go and then discover that’s not where you belong, the 5 Easy Ways to Start Living The Sabbatical Life guide can point you down your next path.

Once you read it, you’ll

✅ Discover a counter-intuitive approach to making intentional changes in mindset and lifestyle.

✅ Learn how to own your feelings and your struggles so you can address them.

✅ Find out how to face fears, step out of your comfort zone, and rewire your beliefs.

It’s only 7 pages, so it won’t take you long to get through....

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