Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.Carl Sandburg
It’s feels as though I need to start again.
Logging in again this morning, I see it’s been since November (2021) when I last posted on Reflections on Hardship. Where has the time gone? What happened to my discipline of writing almost daily and then at least weekly?
Life continues to happen. I have seen God move and work through some of the hardships which prompted those reflections. Sure, life has brought new hardships and challenges, but I remain confident that God cares for me – He loves me – He provides in ways I don’t always understand and in ways I often don’t appreciate.
Since November, I turned 50 (I know this is hard to believe). I celebrated Christmas with my family. I received a promotion at work. I traveled to Bonita Springs, Florida with Leanne to spend time with my in-laws. I have continued my daily discipline of 10,000 or more steps each and every day. And I’ve done many, many other things.
What is God teaching me these days?
A couple of weeks ago while I was reading in the book of Deuteronomy, I was struck by the story of Moses who led the Israelites through the wilderness to the very edge of the Promised Land. Moses knew he would not have the privilege of leading God’s people into the Promised Land, yet he led with strength, energy, and a long-term vision for God’s people. Leadership can be challenging. There are days in which we lose hope. There are days in which we want to give up. And there are days in which we realize God has us in a leadership role for a specific season. In my job and in my role as a leader where I work, I have had to navigate significant organizational changes along with changes within my team. Despite my tendency to despise change, I have had to see the vision for the future despite the cloudiness of the present. I’ve had to remain positive and hopeful when it would seem easier to be negative and desperate. I was encouraged by this story of Moses to keep leading well.
I’ve also been witnessing significant changes in some of my family members. My Mom’s battle with Alzheimer’s is not getting easier. Her short term memory is getting worse and worse. My Dad has shared other details of Mom’s decline. It’s not easy to witness your parents as they age. Mom will turn 74 in early May. We don’t know the number of her days. Despite having confidence in her eternal destination, it’s hard to navigate how to be a son who lives 850 miles away. The writer of Psalms 90:12 reminds us, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” As I witness my parents’ aging while I also see the growth of my own kids as they reach exciting milestones in their lives, I think God is teaching me to enjoy each day, to celebrate the good days, and to trust Him during the harder days. I want to honor God with my life. For me that starts with thanksgiving to God for each day.
God’s showing me that leadership isn’t a popularity contest. As a natural people pleaser, I want people on my team to like me. This isn’t always going to happen. Leaders make tough decisions. Leaders carry the blame even if not directly making decisions that impact team members. Leaders set the tone. Leaders put in the time. Leaders carry the burdens. These burdens are related to achieving business success, to ensuring customer satisfaction, to providing accountability for team member performance, and to the health and welfare of those we serve. I had a team member comment to me the other day that I looked stressed. I explained my struggle with sleep the night before which contributed the the bags under my eyes. As a leader, I’m learning again and again that I have more to learn.
What’s on my radar?
Much of my energy and attention is going to my job right now as I seek to build my team for the next stages of our business. I will be spending a lot of time recruiting, interviewing, and planning. It’s exciting to envision the future of my team and the success we will have as we grow.
I’ve been preparing to take on the President’s role for the Rotary Club of Blue Bell. I am learning that delegation and building the right board will be essential for staying balanced and for making a difference as our club seeks to serve our community and our world.
I recently accepted a request to join my church’s leadership team. I’m excited to serve in this capacity at the church I’ve called home for over twenty years. I won’t go into detail now, but this recent event has taught me a lot about my pride, about humility, and about God’s timing.
My son, Isaac, is getting ready to graduate from Grove City College. Leanne and I are overjoyed at the man our son has become. We are praying for the right job for him as he enters this next stage of his life.
Leanne and I have navigated some health challenges since I last wrote. God is good! And it’s been a blessing to see God’s faithfulness and healing hand over these last months. We are excited about some upcoming things I may share more about in the future.
How about you?
The blog world is different than when I started this thing so many years ago. How are you doing? What is God teaching you? What’s on your radar? I’d love to catch up with you and hear about you. Leave a comment.