There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time
Why do we congregate at church, barbeques, or family gatherings? Why do people take issue with socially distancing and isolation? Psychologists warn us that separating ourselves from family, friends and even co-workers can have physical, psychological, and emotional effects. With self-isolation and quarantine becoming the new norm, it seems that we are losing the sense of community, the sense of belonging that previously united us. Psychologist Abraham Maslow calls this the “need for love and belonging.”
“Well you two certainly have acquired a beautiful tan on this cruise!”
We complimented a couple from Canada we had met onboard our ship during our trip to the Caribbean. It was mid-February, a time for people from the northern latitudes to escape the chill and snow and soak up every hour of sun they could manage.
“That’s been our major goal,” they assured us. “But we’ll soon be back to our usual winter pallor. When we exit the plane in Edmonton, there will be big circles of brown on the snow where our tans slide off.”
In research for my third book, I discovered six fundamental weaknesses or gaps that leaders in general and pastors face particularly in some degree. These are based on insight from a perspective on how we deal with our emotions called family systems. To which leadership gap do you tend to default?
GAP 1: EMOTIONAL REACTIVITY (low emotional restraint)
Description: The phrase emotional reactivity self-defines itself. It’s seen in pastors who either outwardly or inwardly emotionally react to others when under stress.
We haven’t had a break. We’ve gone from pandemic to protests. Most of us haven’t been able to gather in person for church services for several months. Children are out of school. Adults are out of jobs. Life as we knew it half a year ago is totally different now. We may be certain – we are shaken but not moved. God is moving with grace, love, and power. You and I can make a daily choice – to keep a laser focus on God’s constant presence, power, and purpose, not on what is going on around us. We can rest in the stability of an almighty God who holds the future.
“Why are you crawling up the stairs?” I was watching my youngest son, who had just started his high school track career, struggling in agony to reach the second floor to his bedroom.
“My legs hurt so much! I took some Tylenol, but it doesn’t seem to help,” he moaned.
“Well maybe you should cut back on your running. Just tell the coach you can’t compete this week.”
“No, Mom! I have to be there! I can’t give up now!”
We begin each day with a degree of certainty and consistency. The sun will rise in the east and set in the west. The oceans tide will ebb and flow throughout the day, and the earth will circumnavigate the sun. We long for this same level of certainty and consistency in all aspects of our lives; especially leadership but are often disappointed.
Then, because so many people were coming and going that
they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come
with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31
When you were a small child, you may recall your parents telling you to “Stop, Look and Listen” as you approached an intersection to cross the street. Before you crossed the street, they wanted you to
Aaron was approached by people, who asked him to "make us gods who shall go before us" (Exodus 32:1; ESV), while their leader, Moses, was gone for a meeting with God on Mt. Sinai, unexpectedly, for 40 long days. Aaron did not resist, instead, obliged them, almost immediately, with a well-publicized effort to make a golden calf for the nation to worship: