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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “balancing”

Lambs Among Wolves

Cronyism is defined (via wikipedia) as showing “partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications….  Often, the appointer is inadequate to hold his or her own job or position of authority, and for this reason the appointer appoints individuals who will not try to weaken him or her, or express views contrary to those of the appointer.”  Do you see examples of this around you?

“Go!  I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”  —Luke 10:3

Yesterday, I saw a friend I had not seen in a year and a half.  We had an incredibly honest conversation while standing in the middle of a popular store’s Baby Section.  Interestingly, she began to share with me why she is not as involved with, as she terms it, “community obligations” as she once was.  Her experiences have caused her to re-prioritize her energies.

Mentor Needed

As she spoke, I could not help but to be surprised by how much I could relate to what she was saying.  On one hand, I was comforted by the bluntness of our conversation because it is not one I hear often.  On the other hand, I was sadden because, as she said, “People will see that you truly care for people and they will use that against you to stagnant your growth.”  Fortunately, everyone is not like this but there are far too many who–intentionally or otherwise—are.

As she spoke, I remembered how active she was in volunteer activities—rather they stemmed from her church, the result of her profession, or via her social interests.  One day, however, she realized that the people she was being surrounded by were likened to wolves.  They did not really care how she was doing.  They were circling her looking for opportunities to take—-to take her energy, to take her skill sets, to take her talents, to take her breath—but never offering her any real opportunities for advancement or enhancement.  Those favorable circumstances were being distributed amongst friends.  When she understood this, she was insulted.  Upon this realization, many are.

Today, I sit still thinking about that conversation.  In fact, it was the third one of its kind that crossed my path within the last two weeks.  They have led me to wonder the very real and detrimental impact cronyism has on communities across the nation and on the world as a whole.  These are things that are not being talked about….enough.  Young people hear, “We want you to get involved,” but like my friend stated, “Once we do, we are silenced because of cronyism.”  What a powerful observation!  More so, what a loss for the community….many times for the very community we are assigned (at least for a season) to serve!

When many think of Christians, they limit our workplaces to sanctuaries.  This may be true for some, but a much larger number of us are to GO out into the world and work.  Hence, we are lawyers and doctors, teachers and artists, customer service agents and nurses, police officers and janitors, writers and business owners, bus drivers and scientists, bartenders and cashiers, executive directors and staff, in the forefront and behind the scenes….the list goes on and on.  We are young and old, from a variety of cultures speaking a number of languages.  Our personalities are as vast as the audience we are to reach.

Yes, we are uniquely made to GO, however, we must be clear about and committed to our purpose in life and in situations.  Why?  Because we will be met with opposition and without knowing our purpose, we can be easily discouraged, frustrated, and/or led astray.  Spiritual warfare is real.  Don’t let cronyism bench you!

We have people to serve, people to help, lives to touch in positive ways.  We have been commissioned to be on a mission.  We are to accomplish that mission in love.  So, let us agree to remain focused on God.  Let us seek Him for understanding and strength, for clarity and inspiration.  Let us walk His way, according to His will for our lives.  Let us remember that He is sending us out like sheep among wolves.  Be careful!

Where Have You Been?

Have you noticed that people will ask you, “Where have you been,” before asking you, “How are you doing”?  What an interesting question.  Still, I wonder what it really means.  Clearly there is an expectation that you were supposed to be somewhere and was not.  Where is this place which prompts more concern regarding one’s whereabouts than of a person’s wellbeing?

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.  (Mark 6:31-32)

Rest

About a year ago, I consciously learned a hard lesson about the importance of making time to rest.  A few years ago, I was exhausted.  Physically I was tired.  Emotionally I was drained.  Spiritually I was fatigued.  Even still, I discovered that people continued to expect me to be certain places and do certain things.  It felt like if I could breathe, they wanted the breath.  Can anyone relate to this?  For my survival, I knew that I needed to take a break.  I needed to rest which I did out of necessity.

Fortunately for me, during my time of rest I was surrounded by a wealth of love.  (Make sure you have people in your life who love you.)  I was able to re-establish balance, revisit things that makes me happy, sharpen my focus and strengthen my self.  For me, studying my Bible and numerous biblical principles—deepening my awareness of what I believe for me—laid the foundation for these things and more.

There have been times when I would shake my head at the fact that I had to get to a point of being worn down in order to make resting a priority.  Thankfully I have learned my lesson, however.  As a result, I am able to see the blessings that come along with getting and maintaining proper rest—not just for myself, but for others.

It is alright to say, “No,” to invitations.  Enjoy the ones you say, “Yes,” to though.

Drawing boundaries is a must.  If you do not, the boundaries will draw upon you.

Finding a safe, quiet place to rest so that you will not become so overwhelmed by the expectations, chaos, and chatter of the world surrounding you, to the point that you can no longer hear from God is vital to your spiritual growth.  Rest will point out to you that the asking of, “Where have you been,” has little to do with you.  Rest will keep you humble.  It will remind you from where your strength comes.  It will elicit truth when asked, “How are you doing”.

Balancing Act

Some things I have yet to outgrow. I still love balancing my weight on beams and playing on teeter tooters. Sometimes I walk on edges of curbs. Frequently I balance myself on one leg (or the other) while exercising. Now that I think about it, I have been doing a balancing act for a long time. When I was younger, the challenge of balancing things was fun. These days, I like to think of it more as an art form, which when accomplished is rewarding.

Balancing Book on Head

Last night, I had a great conversation with a friend about the importance of having a “work-life” balance as women. We talked about our family obligations, the demands at work, and our spare time personal pursuits. It is a lot, but like many women we manage…and many times we do so making it look easier than it actually is. Do you think women are pressured to appear perfect? What an impossible expectation. No one is perfect.

The older I get, the more important I find it is to have a “work-life” balance. I have been through the stage of focusing so much on work and missing valuable time with loved ones. I have attended funerals and cried, wishing to have shared more time with the person. That’s not fun.

I have been through the stage of spending precious time with family/friends and have watched professional opportunities pass by. I have wondered if I was making the right decisions. Through trial and error I have found a schedule that I am forever tweaking, however, it is working. I am focused and relaxed, as I am expected to be while balancing. I am at-one with my core…balancing…gracefully. Are you?

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