NEXT

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Here we are again…

Another inciting incident.
Opinions flow like a river at flood stage.

“You don’t know the facts?” “You missed the point” “You’re ignorant”

As our nation labors under the weight of serious systemic issues  we choose to herald our cyber-bullhorns, which are more about shouting than listening and resolving.

Broad-brushed soundbites of polarized rhetoric.

And then…

NEXT

We saunter off to the next thing showing that we really don’t care at a deep level about the current thing, it’s just the popular outrage. Sure, it seems important enough to flame and shout out loudly what we think (as if we have perfect-objective reality firmly in our grasp), but not important enough to get off the couch and actually DO Something…DO justice.

It amazes me that so many of us think a perfectly worded tweet is the final word on an incident that results in lost lives, lost income, lost values and even lost humanity.

“Surely my Facebook rebuttal is enough to end generations of racism”

“Surely my #hashtag is enough to end corporate greed”

“Surely my instagram picture will be enough to prove a 911 conspiracy”

and then…NEXT…

Have we become the NEXT generation? Have we become a NEXT culture?

In other words, is our current outrage more about entertainment and consumerism than it is about the actual tragedy or incident?

I think they way we respond and then quickly disengage moving onto the NEXT thing reveals an apathy and a narcissism that perpetuates systemic issues.

We live at the surface, and the problems we face are much deeper than the “facts.” And I know someone will more than likely cry out against that last statement.

Courts have to deal with facts, we as a society must deal with truths that lead to justice acknowledging the facts.

Today, consider how fast you move onto the NEXT thing.

Today consider how fast you move on from the LAST thing.

Today consider whether or not an incident will incite you to use your bullhorn only, or actually get off the couch and enter into the pain and brokeness as a healer and helper.

A closing thought to ponder from Martin Luther King Jr.:

“The Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice.”

In light of the current #ferguson battlefield, consider the deeper conversation that is needed before you go NEXT.

 

 

Waiting…

waiting

Waiting is the hard work of being human. Waiting is conjoined with patience creating beauty when they erupt into action at the right moment  with the right motivation. But this requires faith that believes that something awaits, hidden from view, that will make its debut.

The heart that cannot wait rushes around trying to find something, anything,. The fruitless search concludes that whatever it is that is being sought must be somewhere else. Each place they visit fails to deliver the beauty they seek, so impatiently, they move on, missing the moment searching for that something that hides in the rushing and can only be found in waiting.

To live the spiritual discipline of waiting is an active listening, looking, moving and knowing. True waiting is never passive but alive. Faith ignited to see the invisible and know the unknowable. But this comes by process; not a one-time divine zap. It is trust exercised in hope knowing that God is there and that God is always good.

Oswald Chambers noted:

“One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.” 

When I wait, I become aware of my shadow-
…I am thankful for grace.
When I wait, I realize that I too often place myself on God’s throne-
…I am thankful for mercy.
When I wait, I feel the anxiousness my heart carries-
…I am thankful for peace.
When I wait, I see the effects of my sin on others-
…I am thankful for forgiveness.
When I wait, I know that I live a rushed life-
…I am thankful for silence.

“Stand still” – keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.” ~Charles Spurgeon

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-33

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9


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Change- SNQ 8/15/12

Change is inevitable. Change is necessary. Change is hard. As life speeds along at an ever increase rate, we are faced with the reality of change. How we handle change will greatly affect the level of enjoyment we have in life. Fighting the inevitable is always a losing battle, so why do we do it?

When you are facing a change or a transition, it is really important to consider the following:

1. Acknowledge the Change: Denial isn’t helpful when it comes to change, it actually creates a high level of conscious, as well as subconscious stress. When we acknowledge the change, we are freeing ourselves from the hostage situation that denial creates. Another form of denial is minimizing change. When we minimize the potential effects of change we are not really acknowledging that we will be facing life differently. When we finally acknowledge change, we bring it to the light where it can’t go underground and affect our subconscious behavioral patterns.

2. Celebrate What Came Before. Too often, since we don’t like change, we choose to simply “power through it” and jump into the next great thing. This leaves a sense of unsettled-ness within. When we celebrate the transition, we give honor to the good things as well as grieve the hard things that preceded the change. This creates a sense of closure concerning the change, whether it was good or bad, which in turn helps us move forward without the baggage that, denial, minimizing or too fast a transition create. Closure is crucial for a healthy transition.

3. Remind Yourself That Change Helps You Grow. If we never experienced change, we would never grow. Remind yourself that change creates growth opportunities and will reveal the health of your emotional soul. You’ll need to remind yourself often…so in those moments when the stress from change is reaching the tipping point, remind yourself that God is larger than your circumstances and that the change He is allowing can be used to enlarge your faith.

Here are some great quotes about change:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
~Reinhold Niebuhr

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.  ~Arnold Bennett

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.  ~Ellen Glasgow

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.  ~Carl Jung

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.  ~Maya Angelou

If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.  ~John A. Simone, Sr.

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.  ~Confucius

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.  ~Confucius

Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.  ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.  ~Frank Herbert

Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin.  ~Denise McCluggage

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.  ~Andre Gide

In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.  ~Warren Buffett

Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you… yet, someone survived… You can do anything you choose to do.
~Maya Angelo

By changing nothing, nothing changes.  ~Tony Robbins

Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.  ~Walter Anderson

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.  ~Jim Rohn

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.  ~George Bernard Shaw

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  ~A.A. Milne

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  ~Mark Twain