Weekly Thought – January 24, 2023
Fred experienced major losses in 1983, including financial setbacks and the death of his Mother. True to form, he crafted a personal plan for going forward. These excerpts will give a flavor of his approach.
Looking at Loss
Difficult circumstances require an organized plan. In my personal experience here are four ways I create a strategy:
1) Stay busy. I see a lot of people who don’t understand how important it is to stay busy when they have problems. They want to take off on vacation, going “to the islands,” or choosing any activity which distracts them. Howard Rome, past head of the World Psychiatric Society said to me, “Fred, stay busy.” He knew me well. He understood that by training and habit I would stay constructively busy. An executive I once knew adopted the philosophy for dealing with problems: “When in trouble, when in doubt… run in circles, scream and shout.” I am not talking about that kind of busyness. I am talking about honest, constructive work in rebuilding the wall.
2) Live with the facts. I hope I am mature enough to receive both good and bad fact any time of any day. A friend asked me if his son would be a good executive. “No.” “Why, Fred?” “Because he told me he doesn’t want to hear any bad news from any of his employees because it depresses him.” I cannot get a sound solution to my problem until I have a clear statement of the facts.
3) Never lose the good of a bad experience. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross says the greatest things that happened to her have come from the windstorms of her life. She talks about putting people in the tumbler of life for we come polished when taken out. An example of wasting a bad experience is the national response to the depression. I went into it in such a way I came out without losing a nickel – because I went in without a nickel. I have lost a great deal of money since because I have had the “depression psychosis” imprinted on it. I took the wrong lesson from the experience.
4) Be redemptive. It is my Christian responsibility that in whatever the circumstance I am to bring redemption. This is Christ’s story. I am not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of my mind. This means to me that I am not to be formed by the world and its responses to loss and hard circumstances, but by the work of the Holy Spirit. For example, revenge is not redemptive.
This week carefully consider: 1) How would I define my current circumstances? 2) Which of these points stands out as important for me? 3) What makes me know God is real in difficult circumstances?
Words of Wisdom: “I cannot get a sound solution to my problem until I have a clear statement of the facts.”
Wisdom from the Word: “More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ,” (Philippians 3:8 NET Bible)