Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not Knowing the Score

When you read scripture, it feels as if many of its demands for our life are completely out of touch with the reality of modern living. When it says that the first will be last, and there’s nothing better than giving up your life for others, we may wonder how all that is supposed to get us ahead.

Here’s what we all need to remember: Despite how challenging biblical messages are and all the counter messages we see in the media, the eternal rules weren’t created to make sense in this world, and our “score” isn’t kept here either.

That’s been one of the challenges of praying the humility prayer that I wrote about recently.

At times I’ve been praying it and stopped myself with the internal realization that I’m asking God to help me in ways that are completely detrimental to my professional well-being. That’s when the message comes through that we’re not playing with man-made rules and that we won’t ever know how we’re doing in this life. The rules make sense and the score is maintained outside our view.

Not sure that I have any great revelation to pass along, other than to think about our focus and to ensure that when making decisions, we’re looking beyond what matters today, next year, or 50 years from now. Focus on the eternal instead.



Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Link

Here's a link to an article I just posted on about preparing yourself for tough economic times.

To read it, you'll have to do a quick, free sign-up for Schmoozii, which is a relatively new social networking site (similar to LinkedIn). I started posting articles there earlier this summer and agreed to not post the content elsewhere for three months after.

In any event though, the article builds on some of the themes here and could be worthwhile to look at before the three month window ends.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Baseball Practice

As a child playing Little League baseball, I had my first coach who yelled at us constantly. Coming off of my dad being a coach, it was a severe shock. The change was dramatic and for the first time in my life, I hated baseball and dreaded practice.

The thing that got me through was my mom staying during practice. She’d be sitting in her tan Chevy Malibu off under the trees, and whenever my frustration was peaking, I could look over, see her and know that the practice would end soon enough.

I recalled those moments so vividly during some challenging times recently, thinking how wonderful it was to know Mom was there. Having a sign of comfort was critical then, and I’ve carried that concept with me to this day. It’s always helpful to have those people who we know are there for us when the challenge subsides. They are the really important elements in our lives that are present regardless of how the rest of the world treats us or feels about us. And when they aren’t there, they are really missed.

A couple of weeks ago, our priests were gone and I wasn’t able to get to daily mass for several days. If it wasn’t completely clear before, it was then – daily mass is my biggest source of comfort. Two days away, and I could feel the difference and was much worse for it.

Whatever your faith, find and hold on to your comforts. They’re essential in challenging times.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Catching Up

Sorry I haven’t written for several weeks. It’s not because this subject matter has been far from my mind. Rather, it’s been front and center while working through various issues that have emerged and required attention.

I’ll get to a bunch of topics that came into clearer focus during the past few weeks.

The first is Psalm 28.7, which was featured in a Positive Thinking book last week: “The LORD is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusted and found help. So my heart rejoices; with my song I praise my God.”

That’s a good starting point for summing up the past month!