This week I was called in to help sort out a bit of a mess.
I began by asking questions… trying to understand. Questions about process. It helped my understanding but didn’t bring a resolve. So I asked a different question: “Please tell me how you felt when this process got all jumbled up?”. That question was a game changer and it lead to a discovery of unintentional hurt and wrong messages that were sent. Once that was addressed we were able to address and amend the process.
If we just keep asking the wrong questions we only get better wrong answers.
I recently sat in on a round table of church leaders. They placed a huge premium on being seen as being right…and on being seen as righteous. It was an interesting and sometimes entertaining conversation on worldviews; methods and philosophies of ministry; and on understandings of God and people.
As I drove away, I ruminated on these two thoughts:
. Who is the real wise one: The one who refuses to admit they made a mistake and doubles down or the one who chooses a new direction?
. Who is the real brave one: The one who argues their point by belittling any who would see differently or the one who listens, seeks to understand and focuses on the issue?
Be wise…be brave.
Last Sunday we had eleven people at our house after church. Two of the eleven were my g-daughters, Adrianne and Lillian. At one point I watched them as they sat on the floor, talking, laughing, and creating some fascinating dialogue between a couple of dolls.
It gave me such joy to see their joy. Such pleasure to watch their pleasure. And such delight to experience their delight.
Made me wonder if the same happens for the Heavenly Father when He watches me sail.
A man asked for a few minutes of my day which I didn’t think I had to spare.
But…I sat down anyway.
His life circumstances have become unmanageable and debilitating for him.
Within moments I knew the next steps he should take.
But…I listened intently anyway.
When he wrapped up, I was out of time so I offered some quick direction and prayer.
He told me how helpful it was to be heard and understood. (Not how awesome my advice was.)
Sometimes people don’t care how much you know until they first know how much you care.
But…I guess deep down I knew that anyway.
I like clarity…but…sometimes clarity is a luxury.
Brennan Manning tells the story of when ethicist John Kavanaugh went to Calcutta to serve for a time in Mother Teresa’s ‘house of the dying’. When he was given a few moments with Mother he asked her to pray for him. When she inquired as for what she should pray:
He said: “Clarity. Pray that I have clarity”.
Mother responded: “No, I will not do that”.
“Because clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of”…said Mother.
Kavanaugh objected: “But you always have clarity”.
Mother Teresa laughed and said: “I have never had clarity, what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
I like clarity…but…sometimes clarity is a luxury. So I will pray that you trust God.