How much pain do we have to endure before we connect with what is true?
I’ve noticed that we have a way of ignoring what is true until something happens. Something happens that really gets our attention. As a matter of fact, that attention-getting is often reflected in a growing sense of apprehension or fear.
After a period of sleepless nights or upset stomachs or nervous tension revealed in many different physical or psychological ways, we are then in a position to come to grips with what is true.
It seems as if it takes trauma to bring us to the point of being open to facing our reality, whatever that may be.
There are many examples of this in the Bible. There are also many examples of this from our own lives, once we reflect on them. It took a huge storm for Jonah to come face to face with the truth about his relationship to God. It took a lifetime for Solomon to move from the affirmations of his rise to power and the realities of what is really important in life. It takes “hitting bottom” for anyone with an addiction to look up and admit to being powerless without help.
In the book of Jonah, there is an insightful phrase that reflects this process and applies to our seeming unending ability to “deny’ the truth about our need to prepare for the future. To establish a financial foundation to support our call to freedom and service in our later years based on the preparation of all that has gone before. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, O Lord.” (Jonah 2:7a)
During my lifetime of trying to understand the basics of preparing for the future, a truth emerges. Most of us don’t even begin to pay serious attention to our financial future until we're close enough to visualize what “my life ebbing away” might actually mean. Then we are hit with the realization that we should, must, do something more to prepare for that future. Some, but not all, become aware of the personal need, the responsibility to begin that preparation.
What I realize is that without the motivation of situational clarification, understanding of what is really going on, we tend to do nothing. The role of a prophet is to tell the truth, not just foretell the future. The truth about a situation often becomes the predictor or what the future will hold.
Saving for the future is important - that is a truth. Pain and frustration will be part of the future if action is not taken. An opportunity for an abundant and joy-filled future is enhanced if you do act wisely based on that truth.
What does it take to get your attention?
Is there an unmentioned “elephant in the room"? Is it hard to even encourage or focus the attention of your organization on preparing your staff to face the future? There are so many important ramifications of not doing so individually, for your family, and for a ministry organization. What attention getting realities can you share so that we may learn from each other’s experience?
Let me know your thoughts and comments. Our dialogue continues.
Living with Trusted Advice together,