Rushing By

riverWhat was your greatest joy yesterday?

Would you have remembered it or even noticed if you had not just read the question and taken time to reflect?

We all cherish those who make us laugh, are unexpectedly generous or who really see us. People who are safe to share with stand out in our lives. One of my toughest bosses expected nothing short of the best from each of us. She also created an environment in which we knew that what was expected was possible. She had absolutely no need to reassure herself at other’s expense. Therefore, she celebrated our achievements sincerely.

She took time, about 10 minutes in the morning and about 10 minutes after lunch, to meditate. She would ask, “Lord, what is working?” then allow thoughts or images or impressions to come to her. Then she would ask, “Lord, Who do I need to see?” and did the same. Harriett never “puffed” people for a cheap “feel good” nor did she ignore negative moments. She was careful, however, to notice what was working. She reminded us of pushing thorough other difficult situations. She was know for sitting for a private moment with those who were struggling. She was wise.

When I owned my own business I continued her practice. By the time I retired I was known among my colleagues for having an exceptionally profitable business with extremely competent people. Actually, the two go hand in hand. Exceptional businesses are built on the foundation of its people.

To be one of those people that pick others up, we have to see the world differently. Taking time to ponder the river of life as we are experiencing it, asking a simple question like, “When did I see Your love this morning?” does at least two things. Time in listening prayer helps us remember our own life experience and be grateful for what is right. Listening prayer also help us see the people we live or work with.

You may be intuitively great at this, but if not you can learn. You will be amazed and where God leads you if you take time to find the Divine in each day. If you would like further help in the art of listening prayer, you might want to check out So what was great about your yesterday?

Who Are You?

Who Do You Say that I Am?
Who Do You Say that I Am?

I was reading Emotional Intelligence 2 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Breaves the other day. One of their suggestions is to review the feedback about yourself that you receive from others. I already know that an important part of being an effective leader is knowing what page you and others are on. This way of troubleshooting those images was new to me. And so simple. So I did as they suggested. And Wow.

I discovered that I am experienced by others differently than I see myself. For instance, though it is true that I hurt people at times it is also true that I encourage them. Though it is true that others hurt me at times, they mostly enjoy my company and affirm my value as a person. So the notion I have that relationships are almost always problematic is just not true. My actual experience is that relationships are occasionally problematic, generally affirming and that mistakes others and myself make are usually correctable. Wow. It is really a good deal. This “troubleshooting” technique has already begun saving me time and energy replacing anxiety with joy.

As a Christian I often find myself translating secularist insights into Christian terms. My secular friends have been know the do the same in reverse, so turn about is certainly fair play.

The word “Shalom” often translated as “Peace” means “to be Whole.” “To be Whole” means in part being aware of the whole truth about others and ourselves and the character of our interactions. You probably know this already. Just in case you are a slow learner like myself give it a try. When you are meditating simply ask God, “Who do other’s say that I am?” Listen. Then ask, “Who do You say that I am?” Jesus asked these two questions of his disciples several times in the Gospels. You might just discover good news as you “troubleshoot” one of the great sources of effective leadership, your images of self and others.

Finally, living in the world that is is far better than that world I invented. I am liking God more purely. I am more willing to take risks in relationships, risks that generally bring fantastic results. If you have not already figured all this out, I hope you try it and have great blessing in your life.