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Sometimes one of the most difficult things to do in life is to make sure that you avoid the quicksand. What I mean by this is that all of us encounter times of difficulty in life. During these times, people can start attacking one another. Blame is easily projected on other people without a fair reflection upon the whole situation. When these pieces start coming together, there easily develops a negative and hurtful whirlpool of destruction. Much like quicksand, it is easy to step into this mess and become trapped. Once you are in the mess you will inevitably be pulled farther and farther down.
A person who is successful in staying above the quicksand is someone who can truly be a role model for others. A leader needs to be such a role model. However, it is not limited to leaders. Anyone can be a role model for others when the quicksand of blame, negativity, and fighting enters a situation. We need more role models who avoid the quicksand. We need more people who make the conscious decision to watch for the quicksand and stay out of it.
So my caution to all my readers is to beware the quicksand. You will be far better for doing so and you can be the one who by example helps others stay away from the quicksand as well.
Sometimes the world seems filled with so many things which we just cannot understand. This week we heard of more senseless shootings. We look around and see people killing one another with bombs, guns, and all other fatal attacks. We hear of situations that just do not seem to make sense. So this morning I am reminded that there is someone we can trust to get us through these situations. There is someone who always has our best interest at heart. There is someone who can take a horrific, or even just a troublesome, situation and sort it all out. I share this music video with you to remind you of where to place your trust even when everything may seem dark around you.
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I grew up watching episodes of the TV series, Star Trek. As I was pondering what thoughts to share, the opening declaration of the mission for the U.S.S. Enterprise came into my mind:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
I think that the reason this came into my mind is because lately I have been giving a lot of thought to what it means to be a leader and person living in these times. First, let me say that I do not think we are that unique in having to live in changing times. Yes, there is some uniqueness regarding the particulars of the changes during our time but this is not the first time there have been significant societal shifts.
As I ponder these words from a 1960’s television series, I am drawn to the final words in the statement, “to boldly go where no man (sic) has gone before.” I would naturally change it to say “where no one has gone before.” The key here for me is “to boldly go.” So many people just allow the time and the changes to take them along. However, I think it is important to change the way we maneuver through these times. I think that we need to have the courage to go boldly into these changing times.
For me, the only way that I can obtain that courage is to realize where my hope and confidence finds its source….. the Lord. I believe that the Lord is more than capable of handling whatever changes take place. I believe that my strength, courage, and ability comes directly from the Lord. I believe that my only true hope is found in the Lord. So with these beliefs, I strive to boldly go where others may not have gone.
Sometimes we all can feel that we have little value to this world. Sometimes people can make us feel as if we are too damaged to be of worth. The song which I share with you today is one that has reminded me that those feelings are not true. I was introduced to this song by two wonderful female musicians at church camp many years ago. I return to it often. As a believer, I know that the Master does amazing things. In the Master’s hand, we have great value. So I share this with all of you. Hopefully, it will be able to strengthen you on difficult days and also remind you as you look at others, the Master can make the change for all people so be careful of what worth you place on someone.
One of the greatest gifts which people can give to one another is walking alongside another person. There are times when we are called to lead others. There are times when we are called to follow others. There are far more times when we are called to walking alongside each other. Each of these situations create much different dynamics in our relationships with one another.
When we are called to lead others, we are asked to have a vision and a direction. We take a sense of control. There is a clear separation which takes place because we are ahead of the other individual or group. This also requires a sense of confidence.
When we are called to follow others, we must be open to being guided and directed. We must trust that the one or ones who are leading know the best direction. Again, there is a separation which is evident in this relationship. We must allow others to make decisions which will impact us. This requires a willingness to submit ourself to the leader.
When we walk alongside someone, there is a significantly different dynamic. There is no separation between us and the other person or persons. There is more a feeling of camaraderie. An equal sharing takes place. We impact each other. We gain our strength from each other. No hierarchy exists in our relationship.
So I repeat…. One of the greatest gifts which people can give to one another is walking alongside another person. Who are you walking alongside of today?
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Assumptions can be a double-edged sword. We need to use assumptions in some of our decision-making process. We are not able to have all the facts when preparing to make a decision because some variables are out of our control. So we make assumptions based on the facts which we have available to us at the time and trends which we are able to project into the future. We assume that based on the information, similar or continued trends will exist into the future. But the problem with assumptions is that they can be wrong. Unknown information may have an impact on outcomes. Something may alter the trends which we have seen. So assumptions cannot be trusted completely.
So many people make assumptions when it comes to individuals. In our nation right now, we are dealing with the impact of assumptions and decisions that are made using those thoughts. There is a lot of speculation regarding the reasons for assumptions which lead or have led to negative outcomes. Many people look at an individual or situation and assume they know what the facts are regarding them. They make judgments and take actions based on those assumptions. Sometimes they are correct and sometimes they are very wrong.
Today I would like to throw out a warning to all of us. Be careful how you act upon and treat others based on assumptions. There are times when you must act or make decisions on assumptions but be very limited on those times. Error on the side of not acting on assumptions, especially when it comes to people and their lives.
Today, I am reminded of the courage of those that continue even in the face of what may seem impossible. So on Music Friday, I share this video clip to give all people courage.