Courage and Place


Friends, today I learned something new about myself and more importantly how others sometimes see me.  I’ll be honest, not my best day.  Nonetheless, a good day because I learned something new.  I have a friend, who is also a coworker who cared enough to have a difficult conversation to me.  He has often helped me to see and understand situations and/or events in ways I never imagined.  He easily could have just kept his thoughts to himself but he didn’t, he made a conscious choice to offer some words of encouragement, criticism and wisdom to me.  He presented a critique of how I interact with specific individuals verse others.   His words came from a place of being constructive and not destructive and I have a tremendous amount respect for my friend along with his tenacity and intellect, all of which he would deny.  I have so much to be thankful for, God has blessed me with friends who have strong Christian faith and convictions to their faith with in my personal life as well as my professional life.

I have always enjoyed learning and growing but today I recognized that to be successful in this endeavor one must be in perpetual motion to accomplish it.   After some time of serious thought and quiet time, I realized that I have allowed myself to become “proud” even edging towards “arrogance” in the manner in which I project myself with and towards others.  While there’s nothing wrong with self-confidence and accepting accolades from others, it all must be kept in perspective.  My perspective as of late has been less than a true reflection.  I am not perfect, I am not in control and I definitely do not hold a monopoly on all the right answers.  My way is not the only way, I am not so independent that I never need help.  Life is the ebb and flow, taking and receiving, stopping and starting, moving forward and stepping backwards, turning right and sometimes turning left.  I was also able to see the difference between passion and emotion today, I am passionate about a lot of things in life and I am an emotional person as well.  Somehow I have meshed these two qualities together and blurred the lines that distinguish the two.  For me, passion is more than emotion, its focus, it’s desiring something and having plans to attain, complete or accomplish.  With emotions, it’s raw, unfiltered, unruly at times, often irrational and disconnected. I want to be a passionate individual and not merely an emotional one.

My plan:

• Start anew each day, everyday as an opportunity to start over again.  God’s mercies are new every day!

“Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended; certainly God’s compassion isn’t through! They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness.” -Lamentations 3:22-23

• I will strive to listen more and pause before speaking with others.

“Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry.” -James 1:19

• I will think of the consequences of criticizing others.

“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your eye? You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye.” -Matthew 7:1-5

• I am going to give praise to those who deserve it.

“Each person should test their own work and be happy with doing a good job and not compare themselves with others.” -Galatians 6:4

• I will seek forgiveness and I will forgive.

“Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other.” -Colossians 3:13

• I will love as Christ loves me.

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.” -Matthew 22:37-39

Lastly, I am thankful for the courage of friends, blessings from God and for God’s guidance to find my place in this world.