Archive for the ‘ponder’ Category
Just a little over 3 months ago I was approached at work to help manage the Urgent Care at the hospital. This would be in addition to my normal responsibilities of managing the registration department. The original time frame was about 4 months as an interim. Then either apply for the job or go back to job #1.
It has been a challenge to say the least.
I used to think I was a multi-tasker and would be able to handle many things at once. Now, I am not so confident in that skill. I even wonder at times if I “normally” handle too much at once. Maybe we all do. The idea for me handling both was that I would split the time between the two departments equally. Ya know, focus on the top priorities of each area. However, there are a lot of priorities in each area. I was able on my first day to have a nicely split day, but it swiftly erupted into many hours each week above 40.
This past Friday was my last day for working both jobs. Monday I begin the transition away from job #1 and focus solely (or at least 95%) on the new area. Friday was my deadline to wrap up all the projects I had. By mid-afternoon though, I realized that I still had quite a bit left to take on. I decided that my new focus would be to say “no” to anything new for job #1 and then gradually transfer many of the items over to my temporary replacement. I have at least 3 months to do my best in maintaining job #2 and creating a “good” team into a “very good” team. I don’t think I can get there in 3 months, but I think I can begin to get there. Some new opportunities are coming my way.
I am amazed at what God has done with me. I see His hand moving me into places and opportunities that I shouldn’t have or even seem to be qualified for. It’s as if there was a purpose in this. It’s taken me a while to see this though. I kept being focused on wanting a specific job (pastor) that I overlook the possibility to pastor my friends and peers wherever I am and without need for a title. Even though I keep thinking that someone may wake up and say “Hey, what is he doing here?” and then give me the boot, I clearly am in God’s hands throughout this experience. Whatever happens, will happen.
I have learned a lot of organizational skills over the few jobs I have had since leaving the ministry. I have grown considerably in management and leadership skills. Things I may not have been able to pick up quickly before.
I also decided to begin taking an MBA course through Corban University. Just one class a term (which at this rate will take a few years to complete). I am excited about the opportunity for learning more skills to make me an effective leader.
Have you ever been in a situation where you think “Why am I really here?” But also paired with “Something is about to happen…”?
Some highlights from 2010:
- Enjoyed 18 years of marriage to my bride.
- Saw both Kenzi and Madi turn 11 and 13 (gasp, my first teenager!)
- I got the biker bug after being asked to preach at a motorcycle rally in the summer. Consequently, it comes with some sweet leather wearin’
- Lost 30 pounds since the summer. I also ran my first 5k marathon.
- Was promoted at the hospital to a Manager position where I am able to utilize my skills more and am liking the growth it is providing in leadership and organization. Also saw a friend from work come to follow Christ.
- Beat Rob at Chess a plethora of times (although, we played plethora x2 amount of games).
- Went on a road trip to Denver (avoided a fallen ladder on the road and ate crocodile) to hang out with Chad and Vin and discuss church management and leadership (and lame jokes).
- Traveled to Orlando for work and experienced my first 1st class ride on the way back (don’t worry, I paid for the upgrade).
- Started a small group on Monday’s nights for church.
- My game board collection is growing and invading our room and most free time is spent with fellow board gaming geeks.
Things I am hoping to do in 2011 (not in any particular order)
- Read through the Bible in one year (haven’t done this for a few years!)
- Start an MBA program focused on (non-profit management)
- Get in a sword fight (preferably planned)
- Make 5 video reviews for board games
- Paint the outside of the house and fix up the cupboards in the kitchen
- Carve or craft something out of wood beyond simple whittling.
- Get down to 235 pounds
- Find some gold that you could see without a magnifying glass
- Run two marathons (at least 5k)
- I am in the midst of several books (non-fiction) — I would like to finish several of them
- … oh yeah … and I’ll be turning 40 this coming year!! Yikes!
What are you hoping to do different this next year?
God has provided me a wonderful opportunity recently. I can’t share about it just yet, but I promise … it doesn’t involve monkeys. It’s actually quite funny in light of a recent post I placed on the internets.
Opportunities are funny though. We are always making choices with each opportunity in front of us … either
- We take the opportunity on
- We don’t take the opportunity on
- We ignore the opportunity (basically meaning we don’t take the opportunity)
But how do we go about making the final choice?
#3 is the easiest one to make
The other two choices are much harder because we are committed to the choice.
I had a hard decision to make recently in regards to future things. I had two options in front of me. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. In this case, one very big advantage. I was a bit stuck as each had merit and had an impact with the family and others.
I sent an email to some men at church to help pray for the decision to be clear. Obviously my family was praying (even the girls) for clarity as well.
God worked. The decision became clearer and clearer even though it was still a hard decision.
I have now said “No” to one option … and am ok with it, even though it would have provided a big advantage to the family.
I am now waiting to make the final decision on option #2. Waiting … but ok with making the decision when pressed to.
It is nice to be presented with options. But we still need to choose.
How do you make decisions?
Mer made a statement to me earlier that said something like “What if this is the path you are supposed to be on, but you are so busy trying to get on another path.”
I do have a desire to do something, something good, for my life/career/ministry. I want to be a pastor of a church again. More than anything …
The problem? We are too far in debt. No church could most likely pay the salary I need to get out of debt. Also, per Mer’s comment, I may be missing out on what God is providing right in front of me.
I have had issues with this all of my life, constantly reaching towards the “next” or “what could be”, but not being “in the moment” long enough to enjoy it and see what could be learned.
Jesus, forgive me for overlooking what you have provided for me right now. You have even said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, today has enough to worry about“.
8 months ago I was hired on at the hospital. I was pretty much told on the day I arrived that “you’re boss has been fired, and your going to be doing two jobs while being paid for one”. The other job was that of basically a project manager, making sure that my areas were able to be moved into the new tower effectively. Now that the tower is over … well that’s a bit relative, at least until I work out all of the optimizations. I do have to say, it is nice to just be what I was hired to be – a supervisor.
I have learned a few lessons in this whole ordeal.
1) I need to operate better in my strengths, and find someone else to operate better in my weaknesses.
2) Just because someone else says they “need it” right now, doesn’t mean that they “need it” right then.
3) It is ok to prioritize your work and schedule based on your goals assigned to you by the one who writes your review.
4) There is never, ever any good reason to work 60 hour weeks multiple times.
5) There is never EVER a real good reason to work a 73 hour week .. and end it with a 19 hour shift.
6) If your wife says you need to slow down, slow down!
7) When your heart goes wacky and causes you to take a trip to the ER just to be “reset”, it’s time to chill out and relax a bit
8) When your staff can see you half naked laying in an ER room it’s a good idea to ask them to close the door. Yeah … also, make sure you have clean underwear.
9) Take breaks!
10) Don’t neglect your relationship with Jesus (or family) because of work. It will ALWAYS be busy.
Have you learned anything from your work habits?
When my girls were younger, I would arrive home and they would run to the door to greet me by hugging and kissing on me. Though now when I get home, they don’t come running to me, they at least look my way and smile big smiles and say something like “Daddy’s home!” or “Hi Daddy!”.
We also have this thing we do if I get a chance to sleep in and am not rushed in the morning I’ll yell out “Where’s my girls!!??” at which point their response is usually to come running into the room yelling “Daddy!!!” and hopping in my bed and one will snuggle to me on my left and right side. (If I am really lucky, sometimes Mer will play along and run and jump on the pile of Mooney’s!)
I LOVE IT! I CRAVE IT!
I love their attention and excitement for me. I crave it. In many ways it is much like worship. (Now hold back, I will never accept worship to me … so put your minds to ease).
I believe that kind of devotion and excitement is the kind that God both loves and craves. If my girls were to see all of my self (thoughts and actions) they probably wouldn’t be as devoted to me. God, on the other hand, has no sin or imperfect thoughts or actions and is totally worthy of all thoughts/devotion/attention/love.I have to check myself often on how I even give any kind of attention to God. If Jesus were to walk in the door right now, how would I greet him? A quick glance, or longing devotion?
A couple of weeks ago I decided that I would step down from Men’s Ministry. A bout a week ago I made that knowledgeable to the church leadership. This week it is now official.
I feel like a failure.
I shouldn’t … but I do.
Strange how I think that I have grown a bit in my faith enough to get over insecurities of not having a “title” or “position” in the church, like a trained assassin this came back in my life and skillfully knifed me. I can look back and can see how I had been establishing myself in the position, as if God really needs ME to do it. I am doing ministry, but not being very effective. I held on to the title of Director but didn’t do any directing. After talking out loud with a pastor at church I realized that what I REALLY want to do and what I am currently doing are not lined up. It’d be like asking a football player to play basketball – sure it’s a sport, but is it the one you are skilled in?
What I feel gifted in is leading, training (discipling) and teaching. For me, directing a program involves some of it, but adds on another element of what I don’t want/need to do. I had this constant pressure of wanting to keep the program going and pleasing guys (guys who don’t email back – ya know, the whole reading thing). The problem was that even though the turnouts were well attended for the various things we have done, I wasn’t being satisfied.
I also know that right now, I am in the midst of some pretty big things at work that are tugging my time away. I -can not- be split in too many ways. My wife and I are trying to make sure that we spend adequate time with each other as we need to. Stepping down from this role really is a wise thing to do.
Yet, I still struggle with that failure thing. If I had put more effort, more time, more thoughts into it, it would still be running. But I can’t. I am just a dude. Yet still … I battle this thing of what makes up my worth. I can say on the surface that I know that my worth isn’t in what I do or what my title is. But I swing that way. Argh! This will be a trying time for me. I need to make sure that I find my value in Jesus and what He thinks of me and not in the things I do. If I move in this direction of faith, I will be better and leave this foolishness of pride behind. It is easy to evolve ourselves into the proverbial human-doing (instead of human-being) I know corny corny corny, but quite true. My doing should be a result OF who I am.
So “what am I?”
I am a sinner – who has been given an incredible amount of grace by Jesus who died for my sins so that I can have a relationship with the Creator of the world and also has the ability to not be eternally effected any more by my sin which gives me an incredible amount of freedom to live life in the way that Jesus did which allows the world to see Jesus to also be redeemed. Whew … long sentence.
Today at church towards the end of the second service, I was standing in the hall just waiting. Somehow me and a couple of guys were talking about this one particular guy that comes to our church. His name is Ron and he is homeless and an alcoholic. He has a “corner business” at the end of the street. He comes fairly consistently and has not asked for a dollar (that I have seen) from anyone that comes. He is quite loud and at this point am unsure if it is his personality or drunkenness. If you stand more than a few feet from him you just might become intoxicated by osmosis.
He started coming as another church merged in with ours. Some of us guys have unofficially taken turns sitting with him to tap him on the leg/shoulder when he is getting loud again. He has mellowed down quite a bit over the time and even though he is “less” disruptive, he is still disruptive. What I mean is that (besides the odor) he has this really loud voice and really loud clap … a clap that sometimes is on beat to the music, but mostly just loud – like sonic boom loud. If you are in Marion County on Sundays around 9:15am and hear thunder, but see no clouds … it’s Ron.
At first I was pretty much like “we have to do something about this guy”. But, like stated earlier, some guys were spending time with him. Then I was thinking how “cool” it was that we had a homeless guy coming to church. And how we’re “loving” him and not kicking him out. But today, in that conversation, at the end of the 2nd service, standing in the hallway – it came up that we really weren’t loving him. We were tolerating him … at best, but not loving him.
In our day and age it’s easy to think we love someone if we tolerate them. It’s almost like our value of what a human is, is based on their toleration of people. As if to say “oh look how much I am good by the amount of tolerance I portray”. But sometimes, people plain need to be smacked in the head. Ron is an alcoholic. If I just quietly (maybe even smuggly) sit next to him to quiet him down, what good is that doing him? It might show him that I can stand to be around him, but is that what he needs? Or does he need to get away from his addiction to alcohol? Ultimately, it is safe to say he needs to surrender his entire life over to Jesus … and whether he is a believer in Jesus and needing to be rid of this kind of bondage, or a non-believer needing to come to faith in Jesus for deliverance … he simply needs Jesus and the power over sin that He provides.
I imagine the “tolerance” people that read this post might be offended at that, but hey … tolerate it or be hypocritical.
What can Jesus do with a drunk? A lot. What can Jesus do with me? A lot. What does Ron need most right now? He doesn’t need a tolerant, friendly hand. He needs to come face to face with the biggest road block in his life … his addiction. I was too tolerant to give a damn. I was playing nice, but not loving. What did it take to get to Ron today? It took someone willing to confront him. Was Ron offended, noticeably! Will the conversation change his life? The conversation won’t, but quite possibly the thoughts from it might bring him to the point of needing he needs to stop sinning. (He was asked in our conversation with him if he wanted to stop … and after verbally dancing around the issue, he said he just didn’t want to change). I was standing there the whole time thinking, these are the right words to say to him (what one of the guys was saying in the group that is), but they were words I wouldn’t have cared enough to speak to him.
I am thankful for the brave one who cared enough to love.
I am a bit shamed at myself that I didn’t.
Lord, may I not be afraid to love … I am so glad you weren’t.
Do you have a similar story? Care to comment?
Here I sit again … after a long and exhausting week wondering “what have I done?”.
I am much too involved. What hit home recently was my youngest who walked in the door from somewhere saying something like “Woah … Dad’s not on the computer!” My kids apparently think I am addicted and … well … maybe I am. I didn’t start out thinking “hmm … I will spend 2-3 hours a day as I watch tv getting on the internet and social interacting/surfing/etc.” I didn’t sign up for this! Well, I did, I logged on to an account on facebook.com and twitter.com and who knows what else, so I guess I did sign up.
I have a dream, but am I really working towards it? Am I doing the things necessary to help build toward what I believe God is nudging me to do? I don’t think so.
Instead … I have excuses.
“I am working too many hours!”
“No one else will do it” (or worse) “no one else will do it as good as me”
“I need to veg”
Whatever they are, they are still just excuses.
Starting this week I will be limiting the time I am online. I also will attempt to turn the tv off unless I actually want to watch it, not as filler for my surfing. What will I be filling it with? Spending time connecting more closely to God, Mer and the girls. If there is time left, I will begin working at my dream again.
I also will be praying about what ministry to give up (currently involved with leading the Men’s Ministry, Starting a Young Adult Ministry, general leader at church and podcast for Rethinkmonthly.com. They are all needs right now … but like I mentioned in the leadership meeting today, “Do I really need to meet the need?”. Last time I checked, I don’t have an “S” on my chest nor a crown on my head. I have limitations. And I currently have no boundaries – or at least if someone were to bump into me, my life would just spill over the edge and make a mess on someone!
Thank God I have hope. Hope that this life is NOT all there is … that there is MORE to it. Jesus has changed my life and most likely I would be thoroughly distraught, but I know He still has a plan for me and I am going to step back towards it. It will involve my wife and my kids. I am looking forward to something different.
How do you choose your priorities?
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