His name appeared late on the registration list. I uttered an audible groan. How would I get through the entire reunion weekend without encountering him? 49 years before Doug and I were thrown together as mis-matched freshmen roommates. He had arrived three days...
I react to criticism, judgments, fair and unfair evaluations, and not getting my way. I’m reactive to a friend’s decline of an invite, or my wife’s challenge of my perspective. I’m reactive to the rain that washed away my plans for the day. I am reactive to pain and discomfort.
I don’t like hangnails, let alone the reduced capacity I’ve experienced this week with a bout of Covid. I avoided it for two and a half years and it finally got me. I was due a turn, I suppose, and yet I still reacted. I was ready to blame whoever gave this to me. I felt pity, why me God, you know I’m busy. I reacted with guilt, as I’ve got a job to do, and rest to recover keeps me from proving my value. Lot’s of false selves can emerge from reactivity. By understanding reactivity, I have the opportunity for growth, transformation, and the pursuit of a mature way of responding.
Leaders regulate reactivity to respond effectively and in love.
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To accept our reality, including obstacles, frees us to pivot and continue to pursue the prize. This is to accept the goodness of God, even in troubling circumstances, and trust that he is moving us toward a greater good – though the journey may be very hard.
Consider your actions, attitudes and heart toward COVID-19, quarantining and masks, politics, social injustices, your problems and pains, and the many antagonists in your life, including the messages and imaginations that live within you. Consider how you resist, the consequence, and the opportunity to accept and pivot.
3 minute video
My family takes road trips. A lot of road trips. We have driven from Kentucky to Florida, Boston, Oregon, Colorado, and California. It’s fun to have the windows down, music blasting, taking in beauty from different regions in the country: beaches, mountains, cities, and countryside…
We talk a lot in this ministry about creating a “safe space”—on the weekends, in R groups. Our culture also uses those words, to talk about creating safe spaces within universities, or online, for example. But those safe spaces mean something different. That safe space is a place to be safe from people who disagree with you, or have a different viewpoint from you. A place where you can be safe from uncomfortable feelings, from having to reconcile the gaps between how you should live and how you actually live. A place where you never have to feel uncomfortable, or feel anxious, ashamed, or sad.
Garbage in, garbage out is a familiar term in the computer industry. I discovered, in the most profound and personal way, that it can apply to us mortals as well. In my case, that discovery, which was an entirely spiritual event, took place during a weekend retreat at Men at The Cross, and it was amazing. It was what I like to call “A God Thing.”