Weekly Thought – August 19, 2014
Fred wrapped up his earthly assignment on August 17, 2007 at 9:15am. His life was devoted to faithfully stewarding his gifts for the benefit of others. His thinking on perseverance enabled many to navigate choppy waters. This week’s email is an excerpt from a Sunday School lesson for Highland Park Presbyterian Church. He talked about the pain of progress.
On September 12 and 13, 2015 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fred’s birth. We will be sharing his impact on others. If you wish to participate, please email us answering the question: “How did Fred stretch you?”
Thank you for supporting us in prayer, encouragement, and financial assistance.
Plan for pain – it will come. Don’t be shocked; don’t be thrown off course. James tells us, “Don’t be surprised when various trials come.” A well-conceived plan makes us ready for action.
In my experience, one of the primary causes of pain is loss. Here are two of the most prominent:
1) Confidence – An officer of a failed corporation sat at breakfast and told me he was a phony. “I didn’t have the capability everyone credited to me.” I stopped him saying, “I wouldn’t sit and listen to anyone else lie about you, so I won’t let you do it, either.” That is exactly what he was doing. He lost his confidence, but not his ability. I have a sign in my office to remind me: “You haven’t failed – only your plans have.”
Having an objective view of the experience allows us to accurately assess our situation. In doing this, we operate from the current reality, allowing us to make solid judgments. A totally subjective approach results in withdrawal or the cockiness of false confidence.
2) Relationships – The loss of relationships built on position not personal attributes is common. Our society values success. Unfortunately, the loss of title results in the loss of relationships and power we thought were attributed to us personally. This loss pushes us to face the cold reality the power stayed on the desk when we shut the door behind us. I have always said the most vulnerable position is the VP of Purchasing. He operates under the false assumption the ballgame tickets, the special remembrances, and the friendships came because others really liked him, not just because of the orders he placed with them. Too often, it isn’t about who they are but what they do – and what they can do for others.
One of my friends retired from a top management job with a Fortune 500 corporation. Shortly before, he called to ask what he should expect. “They won’t return your calls like they did,” was my simple answer. He didn’t believe me. Several months later he called to say, “You were right. Now I don’t even bother to leave my number.”
Loss is a given; how we react and respond is our choice. We can turn pain into gain.
This week carefully consider: 1) How do I anticipate loss? 2) What is challenging my confidence right now? 3) Who would benefit from my honest encouragement?
Words of Wisdom: “You haven’t failed – only your plans have.”
Wisdom from the Word: “For you give me confidence, O Lord; O Lord, I have trusted in you since I was young.” (Psalm 71:5 NET Bible)