Archives for June 2012

Play the … Pauses

I saw in a movie recently where a music teacher instructed their student to “play the pauses”. The indication is that the pauses in between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves.  In everyday life, just like in music, the down times are just as important, if not more important than the events in our lives that keep us busy.

In my life I have identified these three areas where I try to ‘play the pauses’.

  1. Family – I love going to professional sports games (GO REDS!), Amusement Parks (King’s Island is the best!), my kids games (PRF Panthers RULE!), and many other events with my family.  However, some of the best conversations and interactions are in the Jeep, at dinner, or at bedtime while I check on (make sure the boogie man is not there) the kids.  The time in between all the EVENTS of life are often the most memorable.  I think it is imperative to focus on these times and make the most of them.
  2. Prayer – I don’t know about you, but I often find myself reciting these long, rambling narrative prayers.  I just recite the laundry list of items that are bothering me.  In order to get the guidance that I need from the Lord, I have to make a conscience decision to pause.  I want to make sure I give the Lord the opportunity to speak to me.  If all I do is talk, I can’t listen.  The Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God:” Psalm 46:10a.  I need to be still and listen to the message that the Lord has for me.
  3. Socially – It has often been said that there is a reason we have two ears and only one mouth.  I want to create meaningful relationships with the people I meet.  I have to be willing to listen twice as much as I talk.  I want to be in a position to help and teach others.  It is true that people don’t care how much I know, until they know how much I care.  If all I do is talk and not listen, it might show how much I care, but only about MYSELF.
Time Management is a big point of conversation these days.  It seems the more technology we have to make our lives “easier”, the more we add to our lives.  The truth is time will not be managed.  I am not able to guide time, tell it where to go, or what to do.  Time is a constant that will not change.  The best I can do is to manage myself and how I use my time.  If I don’t actively choose to “Play the Pauses”, I will rush through life and miss some of the best things in life.
Do you “play the pauses”?  What are some areas in your life where it is important to “play the pauses”?

When Leadership Fails…

One of the many facts of life is that at some point a leader in your life will fail. It may be your pastor, father, mother, boss, government official (big shocker there), or anyone else in your life that you look up to. The failures of some leaders will hurt more than others. I have come up with five points to keep in mind, while processing the failure of your leader.

On the surface it may look like they have it all together. Society has always made any show of weakness from a leader as a bad thing. This truth generally leads to leaders being too proud to admit weaknesses. In turn, they do not seek counsel or help to fight the issues that they have. Pride is all too often the cause of a great fall.

I have had several leaders very close to me make very bad decisions. Through these experiences I have tried to keep these points in mind:

  1. Nobody is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. Anyone can make a bad decision. There has been one perfect man on this earth, and that was a couple thousand years ago.
  2. Each individual has their own battles. A big one for me is admitting my faults. I don’t like to be wrong, but when I am . . . I HATE ADMITTING IT. I am trying to grow in this area. If you never admit that you make mistakes, then you can never get better. For others their struggle might be overeating, drugs, alcohol, gambling, the list can go on and on. The fact of the matter is, that everyone has something that Satan dwells on, and constantly attacks. If we are too proud to ask for help and seek guidance, it doesn’t take long for it to take a hold of some or all parts of your life.
  3. A bad decision doesn’t make a bad person. Sometimes good people do bad things. When that does happen, it doesn’t mean that everything that person did was evil. I found myself thinking that even good things that I had experienced with the leader were in question. I rationalized that now I had a reason to question every motive they ever had. Do not give any of your attention to these kind of thought, they only serve to destroy.
  4. This too will pass. It seems impossible to believe, but it is true. Some wounds may take a long time to heal totally, but over time situations that seemed to be earth shattering become manageable.
  5. Learn from your leader’s mistakes. A smart man learns from his own mistakes. A wise man learns from other people’s mistakes. If you can save yourself a lot of heartache, pain, and misery by NOT making poor decisions; you should!

What have you learned from the mistakes made by leaders in your life?

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