Generally, I am wired for action. Once I see the next thing, I’ll pull the trigger. It won’t take me much additional time to analyze, dissect, consider and evaluate the options. The net result is that I can go from one thing to the next at a rapid pace. There are strengths in that, but there are blind spots as well.
My friend Alan Bias wrote a book, “Walking with God in a World Gone Busy.” He points out that many of us have been experiencing a “big gray swirl” of busyness which robs from our awareness of God’s faithfulness. His conclusions can apply to the blind spots of my strengths.
I readily admit that I have not mastered the orchestration of faith and effort. I don’t always automatically know where wisdom and action stop and waiting on the Lord begins. Sometimes I am inclined towards the next thing at the expense of noticing the beauty in the current thing.
Alan makes the point, along with some practical suggestions, that the moments we are living in the middle of the stuff that we are doing are opportunities that we will never get back. He presents the challenge of considering what this life is going to look like at old age when considering the culmination of experiences that make up your life. Wouldn’t it be a shame to have no appreciation for the beauty, emotions and whispers of God that come in the subtle inventory of details that are now, but only for a moment?
Over the past few years, I have gotten better at this and I still have some “better” to realize. I’ve embraced the times of silence, and have even grown to love them. I’ve turned things off and put things away better than ever before. Those times have found a protected routine at each end of the day; first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Perhaps my greatest gains as well as my greatest opportunities in the maturing of my strengths is coming through teamwork. I had a rich and rewarding experience with a small group of men in leading “Bold” for almost two years. I’m now experiencing the beginnings of that with a talented team of Elders at Heritage. We’re working out the nuance, but the opportunity is that my preferred “op-tempo” propels us and the prudence of other strengths paces us.
Strengths should be allowed to be strengths as we develop other areas. At the same time, no strength left unchecked holds the limits of our possibilities. We can all move in our gifts and not be as susceptible to the shadow of those gifts if we’ll willingly submit to the dynamics of a team. The strengths of others will multiply our capacity beyond the sacrifice of what could feel like the government of our passions.
If you’re interested in Alan’s book, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.