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Rob Bell: The Joy of Growing Younger

2019-04-22 | 🔗

In a live appearance at UCLA’s Royce Hall, New York Times best-selling author, pastor and podcaster Rob Bell raises profound questions about being alive. Rob explains how our attitude can actually turn back the hands of time and reveal to us what he calls “the joys of growing younger.” Rob also shares that his prayers are far from poetic. “They’re actually straight forward and sound more like, ‘You take it,’” he says. Rob explains how these prayers have led to some of his biggest revelations.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm over Winfrey welcome to supersede conversations the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now, I shall never forget what I discover Rob though he stood out as a spiritual teacher who takes on the big questions at many are afraid to, and also that many people have about what it means to have faith and to be religious in the world and to be a spiritual being in the world and he's
never afraid actually to explore our relationship with the presence we call guide, he's gonna talk to you about. the joy of growing younger, Like some of that, I friends. hi, I'm Rob and I'm your brother from another mother. And it's so great to be with you- and I told my wife christian about this- A whole day, you see allay of all these efforts it will give talks. She was like onward. that is my idea of like the perfect Saturday? Anybody have that sense like so ok, so a couple years ago I met a gathering in Phoenix Arizona and it's hot I didn't to say that and.
Damn sitting at this gallery and there's an empty seat. Next to me, and a woman walks up sits down. Look me in the eye. Like its right in my girl- and she says, rob. My name is Mary and I'm ninety two years old and I'm just getting started and she said it with a little swagger like a little edge, a little like what're. You gonna do about it and so did, any of you would have done in that situation. I asked for a selfie. Now, how rates, if you see what I mean by the little swagger it somewhere Tween, like the European, the Beastie boys economy, like it too, like a little like she woke up and went? Shall I tend my garden today, or feeding the sight of a large building. I go so gay
grandma or something. nine d to end just getting started. Mary raises profound questions about what it means to be alive, what it means to revolving what it means to be growing what it means to be a human being. Yes,. your best day? behind you did you? you peak early. You don't you meet the people correct who are still telling college stories already There were red plastic cops at the party, so original you threw open the bushes because you are so drunk no one's ever told that story, and it's almost like the best days are somewhere back there. You must pick it up at an energetic level, and I am talking about the sense of is that how it works or. Are you wherever you are in your life just getting?
started in what would tat looked like now? I start I was a preacher, so the scriptures are sort of deep in my blood and is just one scripture. That says this, though outwardly We are wasting away it is basically a very by two thousand, old way of saying we're. All gonna die how many of you, as the years go by gravity, is getting more effective. You'll get that later. It's very clever. Outwardly. We are we steam away. Yet, in Thirdly, come off. We are being renewed day by day by day by day by day Does it look like to be renewed day by day by day so that, as you, older, you're, actually growing younger? What would it
look like to understand that there is a physical, very real material, physical dimension, to your existence. And yet there is in essence to you. There is a raw sense of purity and being to you that just keeps getting renewed and maybe you could say younger and younger and younger and younger, and what would it look like to be that kind of person in the world where you show up somewhere in you're like a hundred and thirteen and I'm just getting? What would that sort. Thing look like now: here's what I find really fastening, the ancient Greeks actually had to different word. for the word new. So one of those words for new. The word me off somewhere, you say NI us. Now me ass is new. In reference to time, I did those new shoes. Have you seen that new film new in terms of duration, in terms of the passage of time
so there is new meaning it just came off the shelf. You just purchased it. It's only been here a few moments a few seconds a few years. That's not the word that writers uses here in this ancient scripture from the new testament through doesn't say outwardly. We are being me ass day by day the writers a different word, a word, a very specific word kind: ass on here's, a kind us but I find fastening about China's kindnesses newness that isn't real. The time is right. Added to what happens when you move from one stage to another higher stage. It is a reference to a newness that is based on a quality. Difference when you move from one mode of being to another, better mode of being.
So when the writer makes this choice here, the writer essentially says I wanna talk to you not about that kind of Cotonou, because that kind of new you know, comes and goes. But this kind of new is the kind of new Comes and it comes again, and it comes again, as you are kind asked day by day by day by day, Is that actually possible to Sperience a renewal in such a way that you're getting younger and younger and younger as you get older, an older in older. Now I grew up in Michigan. Michigan. Michigan America's high five. And where I grew up in Michigan, there was a place People went when they decided that they no longer wanted to contribute in any meaningful way. There was a place that people, And when they decided to be irrelevant there, there was a place where people essentially said: I've lost my edge, I'm kind of done
I dont want to really pass anything along that place that people went when they decided. I'm kind of done with the whole thing I'm out of here that place was called Florida now I have no problem with Florida. I really enjoy high levels of humidity and bugs. it was my uncle turned sixty five like the next day they packed up the U Hall, I member So clearly, because we are like the next day they like we're out here and they went to florida- I remember probably, like an eleven year old. Here knows how the thing that you and powdered as a young child stay with you here. I am talking about years later. I remember visiting them in the morning. There's like what are we going to do and I like well, we re wake up and have coffee, and then Sometimes we go check out. The golf course which I found was different than actually Gulfy. Just checking out the golf course.
Where did we get the eye dear culturally, that reach a certain point and then you're done well. did we get the idea that when you reach the point at which you have the most accumulated life, wisdom You then separate from all. Of the younger people, who actually need all the wisdom that you have where didn't we, culturally, where did we culturally get the idea that you Each some moment of perfect hip sternness at around twenty two and a half. and then from their it's just sort of a long, sad goodbye, and Anybody know exactly what I'm target this weird idea is it somewhere in pop culture, is somewhere in in the fact that pro athlete
is it somewhere in the idea of pop music somewhere in the birth of pop culture, which is what thirty forty years old this Dear arose that you get back, better and better. You hit your moment and then really you're. Having a second album. That's coming out, let's see if you can do it twice in a row, because these These are absolutely toxic and lethal case in point. Would you like you have to have open heart surgery, a twenty two year old heart surgeon or sixty two year old heart surgeon. Anybody, because about medicine, think about law, think about education, think about our protect your who do you want designing your house that will have a roof that could collapse on your head. Somebody who's, like, I think, I'll, make a building or somebody who's like other making billions for a long time. Here's how you make buildings in most art forms, you're, working a craft and there, an accumulated wisdom that you develop year, Three year after year,
and so you're getting better and better and better. and better because you ve tried a whole number of things. But I think- happened in our culture. Is this sort of idea, pop culture peeking and their these moments. When you're your most shiny glimmer herself and then well kind of failure. I think that somehow deeply affected the way that we see everything, but for thousands of years people have this understanding that will you need wisdom you go to the to the village elder, because village elder has been around and seeing something's they'll give you what you need. Outwardly we are wasting away yet inwardly. We are being renewed day by day by day Don't go anywhere or to come after this short break. Today's episode is supported by american heritage. Chocolate. Have you ever baked anything that required graded chocolate. It can be a little messy and time consuming
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heritage chocolate is sold in over two hundred find give shops at his or excites museums and history break ins across the USA and Canada as well as Amazon, dot com? Find out more about their historic recipe and shop online at American Heritage, chocolate, dot com, that's it Eric inherited chocolate, dot com one thousand eight hundred and ninety two, a man named Joshua Slocum, went out into the woods and chop down a tree with an axe to chop down a couple of other trees. And then, with that acts and saw he made. those trees in the planks and then some. Had given him an old boat called the spray and it was falling apart, Joshua looking around the woods, got those trees chop them down, made planks out of them, and then he He built this all boat. But he had given him called the spray and then one day and eighteen. Ninety five, three years later, he got in that oh all alone and sailed around the world.
No one had ever done this there are. great stories, he later wrote a memoir of what it was like to sail around the world all alone, and he would stop in ports, and there were people in there ports that he would say I'm sitting around the world and they still at this time in eighteen. Ninety five bucks If the world was flat, so he would get in public debates with People as he was sailing around the world about whether or not the world was round or flat and there's a legit very story of stay and harbour for awhile, and a man in him had been having a public argument and he would see the man in town and the man would walk by and across the street and do this. and then he would do this. Point. He had sharks, following him? It was getting a little scared a bit, so he took an iron like fine pan tied a rope to it, threw it out the back and dragged like it was
like a lure and then he waited for the shark oversee what it is, they took out a shotgun held the rope with his foot and shot the shark basic sort of stories. You know that we all tell just was silken. Did this in his MID Fifty's. When you think about the arc of your life? Do you think, Oh yeah, mid fifties. That's what I'm gonna, try down trees and build a boat start. Do no one's ever done in the history of the world can imagine if the school They taught this sort of thing now: kids, twenties, our nice but you're kind of clueless. Thirty's are a little better, but your fifties and Sixtys that's when stuff get sexy. Outwardly outwardly. We are wasting away, inwardly? We are being renewed day by day by day by day
So what does it look like to experience renewal day by day by day, couple thoughts? very practical observations about we're, looks like the union number one you Sperience, you often experienced renewal when you are reminded there, you are bigger than whatever Europe present circumstances. Are you have a true self. In essence, a spirit you have the EU that is the you behind the EU and that you stands beyond and transcends what ever situations you happen to be in. Does anybody have the habit of becoming overwhelmed with a situation? It's the only thing you can think about, and it just dominates your thoughts and you're late, a better Night thinking about it and it just owns you, anybody have that sort of thing. Ok, here's. What helps me. There's a hill not far from here where I live and the what kind of steep and it goes up for a while you can see. I took this picture while I was dry.
up the hill snow, texting kids, detaining about photography. This, the hill goes up really really steep, and then it makes it. He with another street and then that street turns to the right and that Three goes up any steeper. a little while ago Cement truck driver You already know the stories going right. You're already like this, not gonna, go well he's driving. this hill with a cement truck full of cement, obviously- and he gets to the tea any turns right to go up even steeper, but apparently he had too much cement. In the cement truck, and so as he started to make the turn the four wheels of the cement truck came off the ground, he began going backwards down the hill Now I would assume at that point that will let me just steer. Unfortunately, the front tyres were off.
the ground, so they said he had no ability to steer he's. Just at that moment going down, Steep hill towards several rows of houses with no control and a cement truck full of cement by the way The over said. You have a rough job. Now, that's a rough job Apparently it came to her. He was going on herself fastened, the whole thing just skidded and turned and fell over, and it just covered the entire street in in movement, because I pulled up a little while later as what is a large cement truck doing on its side and oh look at the new pavement job, they did quicker than normal I imagine if you would have talked to that cement truck driver as he's going, upwards down a hill with no steering. He probably wasn't at that moment. I think I'll have pasta for dinner. Should I trim the hedges when I get home tonight, I'm thinking he was
probably only thinking about his present circumstances in. We here ever feel like you're going down. With no steering a lot of cement loaded, and it's all you Think about renewal happens exactly in those moments. When you are reminded This is a situation. It is passing It is temporary wasn't here yesterday. It is here today It may not be here tomorrow, the writer of the scripture who had been beaten, torture, in prison once in one piece in the scriptures a whole crowd. They believe about Two thousand people set out to have him killed by throwing stones at him. and yet what he says is he says these. He calls them light. And momentary troubles light the poetry of it's beautiful that's not it doesnt diminish the suffering, it doesn't deny the hardship, it doesn't say Oh, no, the cement works just an illusion.
No, it's real, it is. your awareness. It's not that you have a spiritual life. You are a spiritual life have a body, yes, but you also have so much more to you. Are this exotic cocktail of dust and bone soul, skin and spirit, and there is about you, which we can locate in time and space and access with our five senses. And then there is your true self. There is In essence, there is a very depth of who you are. That makes you you that transcends beyond your. Three day experiences: anybody here need a reminder that you are more than your present situation embrace that truth. You almost bill that, like a muscle, so whatever you're starting to own, you certainly know that heads basin, those voices you the muscles a wee wee wee wee the just what it is but me and who I am extent beyond that. Another
that, at least in my own life renewal has worked again and again, and again is renewal often comes when you remember that some things matter more than other things, because What happens if we end up in a spiritual fog where everything that's coming at us? Has the exact same weight? Anybody ever had this experience and you have and also you have this moment of clarity when you realise this thing over here actually is important, and this thing isn't a member and christian, and I were first meriting we are just starting out in one Friday night, we went to dinner with its other young couple and we were in that Freshly married new jobs. Everything in this other couples young and they just got married. We memory to dinner, and sit down and we're like, and it was a new friendship that that long, as you will see and we say what has it go and how you weak. What's going on, remember the wife said very really, stressful week s really what happened. She said.
Well, we were buying a new car and work Least the car so looking at new cars to lease and it's been so stressful dear let me get up my violin for you, because that's how Will you do it, obviously feared stubbornly cause. I'm telling you about it, I'm still processing it, but For the time being, twenty five, I distinctly remember at that time. Something within me suddenly felt old like this was gonna, be like. Are we giving having chips this also with people hearing about how stressful is to pick out a brand new cause, I'm like the problem meter that doesn't even. Renewal is happens when you realise that some of them, off I've been carrying around doesnt matter,
matter what? If you only ever cheese delights of one person or managed to change a single human destiny, just one than yours is a life where lived because to extend the hand to those you dont know and help them along their journey with spontaneous acts of kindness on notice and perhaps even unremarked is the most remarkable thing you can do. Sometimes it takes courage, sometimes something more, but all the good you can do in this life begins with the belief that you can be the change you sick, don't ever stop believing see how we are making a difference at pen medicine. That is another reason why your life is worth pen medicine. I thought
the other day, which is just so awesome. I can't stand it. Do you love this conversation, hey Bob a moving this weekend. I'll do it. I have a pick up. Was there not one human being three going is thing about this, not a good idea. This, I saw this right here. on the four or five I should add. I saw this and took a photo of it on the four or five. Going. Ninety two miles an hour trying to keep up take a photo because you anything for my art
you know, one more need of renewal were in need of renewal when everything feels like it's the same importance you and accumulating more possessions, isn't Only that important You earning the approval of certain people who you may never earned their approval system. That important you. impressing you you when I impressing people who is very important to us that they are impressed by us. That's a loaded down pick up if I've ever seen. One. and sometimes renewal happens when you let go of some stuff and Eliza that Sid. Used me it made me think it was so important. It's not so you pull or about aside the road? You load some furniture and you keep driving. to extend the metaphor to its logical, dead end.
So nice renewal? Has this lightness to it. The reason you feel younger, as you were, carrying around all of this heavy stuff that you had decided was important and when you stop NGO, let's rank all this stuff, I'm carrying around way, there's a whole bunch of stuff here that doesn't matter. and then and then one more renewal comes when you see that some things are more important than others. Renewal also comes When you are reminded that you are not the greatest power in the universe,. You are not the greatest power. the universe. I was driving the other day which will come as a shock to you. And I came to this I actually not not far from here and so was established in LOS Angeles. So there were nine thousand cars involved I notice up ahead that there's a young woman, with a sign holding up a sign
begging for money. but, as I'm saying, they're, probably tents, cars deep sitting Cross legged like six inches from the edge of a curve which is dangerous, among other things, but I'm watching her. Thank you I've never seen someone's that cross legged like that, that close to cars, she's building up the sign and then suddenly she what's the sign like it's almost like she collapsed, on top of the sign this moment, like, oh my word, She's so exhausted, holding up the sign is taking much energy and this Is what I saw too Beaten down to exhausted then hold up the sign so by the side of the road, but the sign and tried to get people to give me money but marks nipple. Has this great line that to be here? is to look far enough inside of you that I see myself. So I
but for the grace of God go I I have never been in this sort of dire situation, but something within me in that moment sitting there in traffic was like, but I know what Like do not have enough energy to hold up the sign in just fold over anybody. I'm talking about Sometimes, renewal comes in surrender, You ve been carrying something around. for so long. You been foreseen at trying to make it happen and it's not happen in its exhausting you I was first started out as a pastor. I gave one of my first servants we'll call it that. And this older gentlemen comes down afterwards. And he says to me high rob my name, is George, I think, to start going to a and I said. Nice to meet you George great opening line, but I am not aware that have a problem with alcohol.
I don't know about that. It's about. If you go to a these you'll, learn everything we know about being a pastor. so I started going to aid meetings and he said just go when they come to you just say: hi, I'm Robin. I pass so I started going to a meetings and when they come to me and say hi, I'm rob and I pass to this day. There are probably people who are like man, a man that guy rob. He was a tough case. I mean, like tennis, ball a brick wall that guy we were not going through to Hamley came a couple times. You lose some. The lower so interesting to me as I watching people work the steps don't I'm talking about, anybody here celebrating another day: cleaning silver, come on what was so it roared and Mary Ann. What was so extraordinary to me
Was to sit in a room full of people who had come to the end of yourselves. all the mechanisms and resources and clever things we do to prop ourselves up to avoid the fact that we have come to the end of ourselves? Europe is a room full of people who had come to the end of ourselves and was so fastening to me is it was so interesting. The inn resting things happen. When you come to the end of your own power, the. Interesting things come happen, when you come to the end of your own strength than you come to the point you are, you are ready to open up to power in vitality and strength that is beyond you. Perhaps you were to just pick yourself up by your bootstraps. Perhaps you
thought. What have you do? Just keep working? Perhaps you were taught whatever you do. Just keep peddling just keep Ryan. Just keep working just keep your nose down, but sometimes you have to stop and say this isn't working, I'm exhausted! You have two fold over on top of your sign. You have to open yourself up to power beyond yourself. You know, sometimes, when people talk about their meditation practising their prayer practice and they say yes, I just sit in prayer, and I say so the creator of oneness of all of us, everything that I blessed to stay in a it's beautiful, it's poetic, and it's all that I'm like that's fantastic, that your prayers sound like that and there so poetic in their beautiful may have a sort of rhythm and Kay you know what most of my prayers sound like here. You take it really straightforward God being spirit. Essence, Jesus whatever language you want. Is a number of my prayers. The prayers
I often find myself saying right before experience all sorts of renewal. Generally, prayers along lines of I'm so tired of carrying this thing around here You take it and that often things, get really really interesting. Outwardly, we are wasting away, we're all gonna die. But inwardly. We are being renewed day by day by day. I turned forty five a couple of days ago and I have to go out with you so far you, my friends if you have a piece of paper in PAN but spend ten seconds come on come on you're right this down? Maybe put this on your mirror in your office,
Of course, from me I'd have you put on your windshield few things will remind you of the power of rain renewed day by day. Then. This is why I am this is how old I am and I'm just getting stuck May you, may you, may you, my brothers and sisters? May you be New day by day may you grow. Younger You grow older and made grace and peace be with you every step, of the way? Thank you
over Winfrey and you ve been listening to supersede conversations the pod cast. You can follow super soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you haven't yet go to apple pod, CAS and subscribe rate and review of this progress join me next week for another supersede conversation. Thank you for listening.
Transcript generated on 2020-10-05.