Godspeed is an expression from an old Middle English phrase – God spede which means “may God cause you to succeed”. It is also an expression used with the intention of a personal blessing and true concern for someone to successfully accomplish or complete a challenging task, typically someone about to start a journey. Its most famous usage was on July 16, 1969 when Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Florida. Three astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr. were atop a 363-foot tall, 7.6-million-pound thrust Saturn V rocket thundering towards the Moon. They were the words spoken from Launch Control.
I use the expression often, including in the title of my book, Godspeed and Guideposts for Your Journey. I felt the content of the book was an ideal opportunity to impart my blessing on one’s journey and for that voyage to be successful.
As I move on to a new job, I am using the word Godspeed asking for God’s blessing for my new journey. I have always taken ownership of my career path so that it meets my expectations. I need to be challenged. I need to see value in the outcomes I deliver. I need to see that I am valued as a person beyond the employee transactional level.
Moving onto a new journey is recognizing that the current path is not working; such that we need to take another route to get us back on track to our goal. Just because we don’t want to continue down one path, doesn’t mean we’re a quitter. It just means this path is not the one we’re supposed to take. To move onward, one must create a new plan, otherwise it is just giving up.
Every day is a chance to make a choice to maintain a forward momentum regardless of circumstance. In my ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ blog post, I discuss that life moves forward, that it flows “down the stream.” It has a progression to it and we need to move with that flow. Victor Kiam, well-known for his turnaround of Remington’s fortunes, as well as being the owner of the New England Patriots football team from 1988–1991 famously said, “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.”
Most times we choose to follow a path based on our instinct, or some might say “gut.” The Dictionary defines a gut feeling as “a feeling that you are certain is right, although you can give no good reason why.” I recently read the analogy that ‘ego’ is a fire hydrant that’s always spewing thoughts into our minds, while ‘intuition’ is a quiet water well. To access water from this well we must be proactive. We must lower a bucket into the well to retrieve it. It’s the same with intuition; it doesn’t make itself obvious and to access it we must take time to listen. Author Dean Koontz says, “Intuition is seeing with the soul.” Intuition is the Lord’s voice in our lives. Our ‘gut reaction’ or our feelings of ‘intuition’ come from God.
There is no guarantee that we’re heading down the right path when we begin. However, there are ways to check in with yourself while you’re on a path to make sure you’re still heading in the right direction. Reflect, pray, and question yourself; take time to access that quiet well. I prayed, reflected and listened to my gut about my career; all leading to this change to move ahead on a new journey.
There is an excerpt from a Steve Jobs commencement address that accurately reflects my feelings on this career change, “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
When Kevin McHale retired from the Boston Celtics in 1993, I read this passage he shared at that time; “I honestly believe that something is going to be in my life that will be more important and more fun than everything I have done up to this point. Then something else will come along that will be more important and more fun. That’s life. That’s great.” What a great attitude concerning moving onward.
As I noted in a previous blog post, progress is made when the “Pain of Change is Less than the Pain of Staying the Same” or the push of a situation (frustration/problem) and/or the pull of a new idea are greater than the forces holding us back. Inspirational speaker Les Brown says, “You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” While Jack Welch the legendary American business executive, author, and former CEO of General Electric advises, “Change before you have to” as opposed to it being forced upon you. When we think of change, we often see it as outwardly focused, avoiding the uncomfortable task of applying it to ourselves. In addition we are guilty of looking at change as a one-off effort, as opposed to “continuous planning” for guidance and alignment.
Scripture records the disciples shaking the dust off their feet and moving on. This expression appears four times in the New Testament; three times as a command spoken by Jesus – Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; and Luke 9:5 – then once in Acts (13:51) with Paul and Barnabas leaving Antioch. Shaking the dust off the feet was a symbolic indication that one has done all that can be done in a situation and therefore carries no further responsibility for it. Jesus was telling His disciples that they were to preach the gospel to everyone. Where they were received with joy, they should stay and teach. But where their message was rejected, they had no further responsibility. They were free to walk away with a clear conscience, knowing they had done all they could do.
I have spent time with my quiet well water and am shaking the dust off my feet; having done my best and moving on with the courage to follow my heart. Godspeed on my journey; Godspeed on your journey. May we both find success.