Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Friday, June 29, 2012 @ 11:20:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

This week, my response in a situation revealed to me how much of my life is still "about me." Recently, I spoke several times at a three-day conference. My presentations were well received and I made some new friends with whom I’ll likely stay in contact in the future. This week, however, I received a copy of evaluations from people who attended the conference. While many nice things were said, I quickly noticed that not much was mentioned about me or my presentations, while others and their presentations were specifically noted. At first, I was disappointed in the evaluations, and that quickly turned into being disappointed that I still struggle with how I perform and how I desire to be noticed for my performance. This situation reminded me of the following quote by Joseph M. Stowell in his book, Simply Jesus and You: Experience His Presence & His Purpose:


"A number of years ago, a friend of mine wrote a book he entitled, Turtle on a Fence Post, the story of his highly successful life. What a great title. Stop and think about it: How does a turtle ever make it to the top of a fence post? He certainly didn't climb there. If a turtle is on a fence post, you can rest assured that someone put him there. It took a power beyond his own to place him on that lofty perch. And when you answer the question of how you got to the top of your fence post, you'll be ready to turn from celebrating yourself and begin to celebrate Him" (50).


Stowell goes on to point out ways we can recognize when we’re caught in the tangled web of rejoicing in our own abilities and accomplishments:


·   "Do we tend toward a knee-jerk reaction to take credit for our accomplishments?" (52)


·   "Are we bothered or, worse yet, bitter about the times we have been slighted?" (52)


·   "Have we ever performed for the praise of others?" (52)


Looking back, when first reading the evaluations, I should have instinctively recognized and rejoiced in God's grace and the outstanding life-changing impact the conference had on its many participants. Though it didn't take me too long to get to that way of thinking, it wasn’t my initial reaction. Yet, forgiveness is amazing: once I recognized and confessed my wrong response, I could then rejoice in the conference evaluations, knowing that, like the turtle on the fence, anything of value that I added was more about Jesus than it was about me.


During this next week, I encourage you to be conscious of your thinking: in challenging situations, do you react because you operate from the belief that your life is "about you," or do you react because you operate from the belief that your life is "about Him"?


Doug I like this poem by the Marxist poet Bertolt Brecht who rightly recognizes that anything heroic that we accomplish is never achieved through our own efforts alone... Questions From a Worker Who Reads Who built Thebes of the seven gates? In the books you will find the names of kings. Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock? And Babylon, many times demolished Who raised it up so many times? In what houses of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live? Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished Did the masons go? Great Rome Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis The night the ocean engulfed it The drowning still bawled for their slaves. The young Alexander conquered India. Was he alone? Caesar beat the Gauls. Did he not have even a cook with him? Philip of Spain wept when his armada Went down. Was he the only one to weep? Frederick the Second won the Seven Year's War. Who Else won it? Every page a victory. Who cooked the feast for the victors? Every ten years a great man? Who paid the bill? So many reports. So many questions.
Martin Klopper @ 8:00:00 PM 7/1/2012
Such a great question to ask myself! I hope that soon I will be able to answer that it is more often about Him than me! For now...trusting his light to reveal my hidden agendas! Thanks for sharing your experience that help us all grow more into the image of Jesus!
barb volstad @ 12:52:00 PM 7/2/2012

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