As I write for the blog tonight, for the first time in about 9 months, my wife is in the other room, watching her Gilmore Girls DVDs for the ump-teenth time – finishing up Season 4, to be exact.
I’m sure Anna will be thrilled to know that I found an episode that speaks to my heart – enough, in fact, to get me writing again.
Season 4, Episode 20, “Luke Can See Her Face”

To quote the summary from Wikipedia:

The least-likely person to buy self-help tapes buys self-help tapes. And what do you know? They help. Thanks to the voice from the boom box, Luke finally realizes who will make him happy… Lorelai Gilmore. Feeling better, Luke completes his journey by handing over the tapes to a flummoxed Jess, who still loves Rory.

If you’re a man in your late-20s to mid-30s, either married or otherwise romantically attached to a woman between 2000 and 2007, you know Luke. In fact you probably identify with Luke. Luke is you. Luke is me. Luke hates the fact that he lives in Stars Hollow, doesn’t always express himself well (expect when he’s angry), but deep down, he knows what he wants. He wants Lorelai Gilmore. In this episode he also admits he needs help – self-help, in fact. And as the summary says, it actually helps. Most of what the voice on the tape says is cheesy and ridiculous, except for one very valuable exercise for the single male listener – picture the face of that one woman in your mind who you never mind being there. Who would you want there to tell about a new promotion or a successful refinancing, the voice asks. And it helps. Luke knows what he wants.

And that’s where you and I come in. I learned a little while back, mainly with the help of David Stark, my pastor and friend of 14 years, that it often pays to take the advice of people who are doing things you would like to do better yourself, especially when their advice seems contrary and unnatural to you.

The fact is, that most of us, like Luke, need help to point us to things we already know in our hearts. As Jon Acuff put it in his book “Quitter”, finding out what we’re made or is more an act of recovery than discovery. I think most of us have a suspicion of what we’re made for deep down, but we all need reminding, and usually constant reminding. The things that help the most often come in the most unlikely packages.

It pays to always be open and teachable. For instance, I personally have a hard time with Zig Ziglar’s mode of communication, but I’ve learned quite a bit about the deep importance of hope and deep optimism from his materials.

So how about you? Who or what have you learned from that you wouldn’t have expected?

Time to Start