I’ve learned a few significant lessons over the course of the past twelve months. All of them seem to have been learned the hard way. The good news is that lessons learned the hard way are not soon forgotten. Here are four of the lessons I learned the hard way in 2019. Here they are. Four Lessons Learned in 2019…
- Sometimes the Best Thing to Say is Nothing at All
Really! There have been at least twenty-two times that I have had to burn enormous sideways energy trying to recover from saying something that was hurtful, sarcastic, inappropriate, or untimely this year. I’ll bet that my count is way lower than the real amount of times that I’ve done this. The problem with this lesson is that it requires two elements that I do not naturally seem to possess. Those elements are grace and judgement. It requires grace to choose and understand, rather than blurting out your own opinion as though it were the gospel itself. And judgement? Well that is almost nonexistent in my life. Having judgement means that I know when to hush, when to argue truth and when to not show myself as a fool. In 2020, I am seeking to listen far more than I speak. Prayers appreciated.
- Sometimes the Relationship is More Important than the Accomplishment
I know most of you do not struggle with this one, but it’s a doozy for me. Spending precious time on something that doesn’t enhance relationships is a fools errand. I was once asked as I was teaching a class of future preachers “what did I think their primary role was as pastors?” My answer was actually pretty decent and very honest: “Our God is all about people. The redemption of fallen people in a messy world.” Simply pu, Our job is to join God in His work of redeeming fallen people through meaningful relationships.” To accomplish and not have a team of folks to celebrate with is a wasted opportunity to join the Creator in collaborative brilliance!
- Sometimes it’s Really Unpopular to Speak Truth, But it’s Always Worth It.
I have dealt with some significant issues this year and the truth of my experiences aren’t always what people want to hear. I’ve seen some nasty subjects up close. Subjects like Immigration, Border Patrol, Unaccompanied Alien Children and Disaster Relief. This is an ongoing truth; The further you are from the heart of the problem, the more simplistic the fix seems to you. The closer you are to the heart of the problem, the more complex the situation becomes – always! It’s worth speaking the truth and it’s always the right thing to do. This messed up world is in dire need of people that live with less chip on their shoulder and more conviction on their backs!
- Sometimes it’s Worth Slowing the Pace of Life and Think Clearly
I could write for days on this topic. I am motivated by accomplishment and checking off those little boxes next to my task list and I doubt that I will ever change in that regard. But intentionally slowing down to plan well, dream big and adopt a God-given strategy is the best thing to do. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that slowing down, actually speeds me up…and I’ll bet it will for you too!
In a 2004 report published by the CDC’s Department of Health and Human Services the following includes a summary of 52 applied psychology studies on the impacts of extended shifts and regular overtime. Across the board, the studies found the impacts were negative—both for employers and employees:
People who regularly work overtime are less healthy than those who don’t. They’re more likely to gain weight, fall ill, and get injured on the job. People are less alert and more likely to make mistakes after the 8th hour of work. And people who routinely work extended hours and overtime are less productive than those who work eight hours a day and 40 hours a week. Lesson? Strategically align every day with your purpose and goals for your life. Balance may seem impossible, but it can be found…at least I believe that. Now it’s time to live that!
Thanks for sticking with me to the end. Here’s to learning more lessons in 2020…and hopefully learning with less pain!
Go In Peace, AChuck