I thought this fortune was going to be a great catalyst to talk about work place conversation. I was going to talk about how I love to hear other people’s’ stories. How encouraged I get when someone shares a part of their life with me. Giving me an opportunity to identify with them, to laugh, celebrate or even cry with them.
After the events in Paris this weekend, I predict that work place conversations will take a more serious turn this week.
But my thoughts are still applicable.
Let me encourage you, myself included, on how to handle what may come your way this week. Questions are lingering, frustrations are building. People are scared. If our words can be used to bring others, even ourselves, some sense of calm, shouldn’t we use them for that purpose?
The fortune I drew out of my cookie last week says “Your past experiences will give you great insight at work this week”. Could this not be more true for those whose faith is in God? God wants to use our stories, our lives, to draw others closer to him. Although we may feel inadequate to help others make any sense about the events this weekend, that truth does not change. The small, seemingly insignificant glimpses into our lives, can still point others to our anchor. To the anchor.
Reflecting on past experiences can do three things…
1. It will remind us that our lives carry a wealth of knowledge. We have facts to draw on. Our own personal stories of survival. Stories of our needs being met supernaturally. Stories of fear and dread that turned into life lessons and peace unexplainable. After the attacks on 9/11, people rallied together. We can draw from our own experiences during that time. Recall the solidarity and determination we had then to push through and protect one another. To console and encourage those around us.
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
Psalm 9:1b NIV
2. Past experiences help us to alleviate fear. Have you ever had a cavity filled? The first time was nerve-racking, causing increased heart rate and sweaty palms. You find out a year later, you have a new cavity that needs filling. No problem! You’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt! You know what’s coming. You’ve lived it. Your attitude is different from before. More relaxed, less panicked. The same is true when you go on your second date, go to work on the second day at a new job, and when you have to send your son off to his second military deployment. Fear is chased out when you can draw on the past.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27 NIV
3. Reflecting on our past experiences can bring confidence…especially when history seems to be repeating itself. We have all lived through trying times. Both individually and as a country. We survived. We came out stronger. Hindsight brings lessons learned of courage. It teaches us what we can and cannot control on our own. It casts light on what’s important and what just is not.
Take comfort. We cannot answer every question that may come our way, but we can share with others what we know. What we have personally experienced. The valleys we have walked through. The fears we have faced. The triumphs had. We can tell others where our strength lies. Where we place our confidence. Why we don’t live in a constant state of fear. Why others don’t have to.
This week…as we walk into this “new normal”…pray. First for yourself, then for those in your sphere of influence.
“Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
Ephesians 6:18 MSG
Be authentic. Be you. If you’re scared, admit it. If you’re frustrated, confess. But, our words are light. After laying out our fleshly concerns, let’s make sure that we are throwing this light to the place of knowledge, fearlessness and confidence.
Our past, personal events and circumstances have something in common with what is taking place around the globe right now. There is one over all.
“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”
Proverbs 15:3 NIV
Regarding the future, he is in the know.
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