Some Thoughts from Under the Surface
There is probably no unifying theme here.
The psalms teach us to pray deeply and honestly without pretense or presumption. They just let it out and then let God sort it all out.
What if we did not judge or measure our prayers before we prayed them? What if we just let all of our negative junk out and laid it on the table before One who is wise, good, patient, loving, holy, and true and then .... well, then, we let that One deal with it.
"This stays; this goes; deal with this; I can handle this; don't worry about this; you might want to rethink this; I hear you. I understand I love you."
That is how the psalms sound to me. All the vengeful, angry feelings are brought before God before anyone else. All of the despondency we experience is brought to the front so that it can be addressed. All of our hopelessness and fear is exposed and God meets us where we are.
We see all of those heavy bricks of guilt and bitterness hanging on a cross and being demolished.
He knows we harbor hate in our hearts that is weighing us down. He knows that we struggle with temptation. He knows that we feel persecuted and alone. He knows and wants us to bring it to Him.
When we do, we are transformed as we are released from the power of those feelings. They only rule us when we cherish them in our hearts and guard them with all our might.
We may be afraid for people to know we are human, but it is useless to try and hide that reality from God. He knows.
"Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eye is wasted from grief;
my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my iniquity,
and my bones waste away."
-Psalm 31:9-10 (ESV)
Now Is the Time! Recession Is No Excuse for Recess!
Have you had a personal recession during this season of pandemic?
Contrary to the human tendency toward flight in times of danger, these are days for entrepreneurs to venture forth into the unknown and strut their creative stuff. The time is right for new ideas, for niche thinking, and for bold initiatives by men and women who will not be ruled by fear or passing circumstance.
The very limitations, restrictions, and scarcity of our times that cause some to retreat will prompt others to think more creatively and move aggressively into the arena of invention and innovation.
In the midst of recession when the tides of prosperity appear to be receding, there sounds no recess bell. Class is still in session. The need for vision and visionaries is profound. Life goes on. There is a sea change of thinking, a correction in our collective greed for consumption, and a reevaluation of our definitions of success. But people still require basic services and great ideas still have landing places among receptive minds.
We cannot retreat from entrepreneurship, Rather, we must embrace it at a new level. Our communities need out-of-the-box thinkers and risk takers. Our nation and world need people who are willing to move forward to build great business, social, and spiritual initiatives on a shoestring.
Recession is no excuse for recess.
Margins Too Wide and Too Narrow
I'm working on margins.
I come to this challenge from time to time and I find it to be a balancing act between making them too wide and too narrow.
If they are so wide that you could drive a truck through them, there is the danger of wasting time between events and responsibilities. That is, unless you carry around a sack of contingency tasks.
Even if you do, you have to take a moment to decide which one fits best with the geography and time allotted - as well as the time of day.
If they are too narrow, you may find that there is not enough time for the most important tasks you'd like to "fit in."
Either way, you have to use your head and that can be painful.
A more important lesson to learn is that no matter how detailed and well considered our plans, there are people and circumstances beyond our control that can alter our plans. If we become to rigid about them, we will crack.
The mighty redwoods are tall, strong, and deeply rooted ... but they are also quite flexible.
Maybe I will use a margin to go stare at one and get back with you.