Weekly Thought – December 19, 2017
Fred asked questions which stung sometimes, but it was a hurt with a helpful intent. He appreciated medical experts who went beyond the surface and endured great pain when he knew it was a necessary part of the cure. This week’s questions touch nerves, but are life-giving when seriously considered.
1) What contribution do I want to be the “residue” when I die? Early in our lives it is best to decide what we want the end to be. It is not enough to grow old and then scramble for a legacy. I would like to believe that there is a residue from each situation as I move through life – a little perfume left in the wake of my passing through. There is no greater compliment then hearing from someone, “Thirty years ago you gave me something that I have found helpful throughout my life. Thank you.”
2) Do I see the essence of things or do I get hung up in the periphery? Much of this answer is tied to personality style, life experiences, and cultural environment. I am a big picture person who leaves the details to others. Much of that is my design, but also my training by mentors who focused on results and not the process. When I got bogged down in the nitty-gritty my friend and mentor Maxey Jarman would stop me and say, “Fred, show me the baby, don’t tell me about the labor pains.”
3) How many people carry different opinions of me? I am seen as two different people by two groups: friends, and enemies. I would like to follow Billy Graham’s example by not spending time debating my enemies but cementing relationships with my friends. Any mature person has to know that one cannot avoid all enemies and therefore as a dog must accept some fleas, then we must accept some detractors. The Scriptures give comfort in the verse, “Beware of him of whom all men speak well.” Of course, most of us have different facets. I recognized long ago I have a platform persona which is different from my at-home personality. After a speech which included much humor, an audience member rushed up to Mary Alice and said, “Oh, I bet he is so much fun at home. I bet you all laugh all the time!” She graciously smiled, but knew the man at home was not always the man on stage.
4) Do I generate hostility and conflict unnecessarily? When I look back at my life and consider the apologies I have made then I know I have unnecessarily violated others – and for that I am sorry.
5) Who are my enemies? Knowing this is important because they can be a helpful part of your network.
This week think about: 1) What is the key element of my personal growth plan? 2) Who am I encouraging in their development? 3) How am I regarded by associates, family, friends?
Words of Wisdom: “Any mature person has to know that one cannot avoid all enemies and therefore as a dog must accept some fleas, then we must accept some detractors.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” (Psalm 119:111 NIV Bible)