I was reading David Allen’s Ready for Anything this morning and the chapter’s opening line fit right in with some ideas I’ve been pondering lately:
Stress comes from unkept agreements with yourself.
Of course, it’s not like this is the only place stress comes from. The world we live in is rife with stressors. But I think it is an often overlooked or entirely unrealized source of stress that is worth noting and mitigating.
“A wisdom model” is how Morgan Snyder proposes men approach their 30s. There’s no better source of true wisdom than scripture—the words of Jesus and the proverbs in particular.
This section of Proverbs 3:3 from The Passion Translation embodies truth I’ve lived by, sometimes intentionally but oftentimes not. Much of it I attribute simply to my upbringing. Integrity was strongly modeled by my parents and extended family.
One of the things I’ve had a hard time doing since becoming a husband and a father is being fully present in each of life’s moments. Maybe it’s gone on longer than that, but Heather, Jacob and Naylan have certainly helped bring it to my attention—not through words, but by being mirrors that help me see myself more accurately.
Taking break to do a quick devotional, I just read my first chapter (not THE first chapter, but one random chapter starting on page 138) of Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership—a book our boss bought us maybe 6 or 8 months ago. The chapter is titled: “He Served Only the Best Wine.”
Quick summary: “Jesus did not keep himself in reserve. The first miracle that Jesus performed was turning water into wine at a wedding. Jesus poured out the best of his affection freely to all he encountered.”
I don’t do that. I bottleneck my emotional and relational energy to a large degree, not wanting to expose myself and become vulnurable to hurt and pain. Jesus loved recklessly and with abandon. He didn’t save himself for some ambiguous time or person in the future.
Author Laurie Beth Jones continues:
This is an important action skill becaue we so often bestow affection in small droplets for people… Why do we wait to serve the wine? Jesus, like so many young people today, never reached the age of forty… He gave the wine freely to anyone who wanted it. He poured out the best of himself to all he encountered.
So, as annoying as all this revelation has been the past few days (it’s hard to get a handle on how to go about changing in so many ways), it’s also very encouraging that God desires to mold me SO MUCH. Must mean he has some pretty neat plans he’s longing to set in motion!
More lessons from the vine… This is the means to a very fruitful end–an end enabling me to serve very, very sweet wine.