I grew up in California and loved the Pacific Ocean. Living in Wisconsin now, I miss the sandy beaches, the rugged coastline, and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. A few years back, my family and I visited my sister and her family in the LA area. A fun day trip was going to one of the local beaches. And one of the highlights was grabbing a boogie board and catching the waves and riding them to shore.
Part of the fun was hanging onto the board and floating, feeling the cool water around me and the soft sand beneath my feet. It was not long, though, before all of us were getting farther and farther out to sea and moving down the coastline.
I was not paddling out from the shore nor was it my intention to move down the shoreline. I was just drifting.
Like many around the world, this past weekend our church contemplated the suffering Savior in our Good Friday service and then all-out celebrated the now-not-dead-but-fully-risen-and-alive Savior on Sunday.
Our Good Friday service was intentionally designed: dimly lit auditorium and a somber mood. I wanted to feel the weight of this night. Though I know how this story ends, I wanted to get a sense of how the disciples must have felt on that day that this Savior willingly allowed Himself to be put through the most gruesome and vile sort of death one could witness.
Wasn’t He supposed to save them?
I remember when I moved to Wisconsin, one of the benefits I gained was a beautiful drive to my workplace. When I lived in Oregon, I was surrounded by exquisite outdoors, but my commute to work involved driving to a park-and-ride and then taking a 45-minute transit train to the heart of Portland.
Not exactly breathtaking.
So I had a “first” in these last couple of weeks.
I had the privilege of attending a Sportsmen’s Retreat at Hidden Acres Christian Center. Our preaching pastor was asked to speak to a bunch of dudes about being manly in Jesus and he hit the bullseye. The uniqueness of this being a first for me was not attending a men’s conference, it was the fact that it was for hunters and sportsmen. I have never hunted in my life!
Camo. Bows. Rifles. Handguns.
Bullets. Flying. Everywhere.
Yes, I know I am getting older. I cannot play basketball like I used to. I feel like now after I play I have to duct tape Motrin to my body for a timed-release effect. I played a couple of weeks ago and was I ever sore. So sore that I had to physically grab my pant leg to cross my legs because my quads hurt so much.
Not a pretty sight.
As with all of us, the older I get, the more differently I see life around me. Perspectives change. For example, I with I had known at 27 when I first had kids what I know now about the gospel and raising my kids.
Or marriage. Wow, do I ever wish I knew at 22 when I said “I do” what I now know about loving my wife and how the gospel intersects my wife and I every day. As God has opened my spiritual eyes, I had no idea what I was saying “I do” to! How God has chiseled some unneeded pieces of clay from this work in progress.
Managing conflict? Or having a tooth extracted with no pain killers?
Hmmm…many times it seems as if I would rather go with option two.
Why is that? Why does it seem like the craft of resolving conflict is such a poorly-developed tool in our culture today?
It is one thing to deal with conflict. It is an entirely different matter to manage conflict well.
Today’s post is not my usual involving some aspect of leadership or influence.
In a sense.
I am a recovering people-pleaser.
OK, it’s out. I’ve said it.
There is a lot of self-admitted brokenness going on in my life. Granted, I realize I have blind-spots to other areas as well, but just what I see myself is enough to overwhelm me sometimes.
But on this journey of mine over the past 50 years, there has been one area that God has brought to the forefront that has caused more danger in my life than perhaps any other, and that is people-pleasing.
Every once in a while I come across a book that I think, “Keeper. This book is a keeper.”
Most books I read have a one-time-through mentality and then take away a key point.
Made to Stick is not that type of book.
It’s becoming a go-to reference for me.