Saturday, November 30, 2013

Questions that Sort Through Requests

I don't know about you, but sometimes I allow myself to take on too many things at once.  I am thankful that the Lord gives me the strength to approach each challenge, but at times I start to feel my age.  I'm trying to improve at saying "no," and I have actually turned down some things that would have burdened my already crowded schedule.  A friend who is a national figure and in constant demand once told me, "David, my life is not my own any more."  At first I was impressed with how important he was, and to be honest, I craved that lifestyle and the fame that came with it.  But my pursuit of being noticed did me far more damage than good, and it took its toll on my relationships. 

Over the years I've figured out that there are some questions I need to ask myself in narrowing the field of my involvements in order to eliminate the overloads.  Here are some things I've asked myself.  Perhaps they will help you.  If you have any to add, please do so!  We can learn from each other!

  1. Does the request fit within my life mission? In other words, will it help me accomplish my calling or will it distract me from where my vision should be focused?
  2. Will it take time away from my loved ones that will do damage to our relationships?
  3. Why am I saying "Yes?"  Is it to impress someone?  Does it fill some sort of sense of need of approval?  Or is it because it is the right thing to do?
  4. Is the investment of my time in this going to broaden the Kingdom of God, my life in general, or some other meaningful purpose? 
  5. Will others benefit from my involvement?
  6. Do I have the gifts and abilities to do the task that I'm being asked to do?
  7. Do I really have the time?  If I take this on, what might have to be put on hold or eliminated?
  8. Am I willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do this well?
I don't always succeed in saying no, but I'm getting better.  These questions help me a lot.  Let me know what works for you!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Proud Dad - Part 2

We celebrated my daughter's volleyball season last night with a banquet and awards.  I was thrilled to see my daughter walk up and receive her varsity letter.  But I was even more proud when the coach spent several minutes talking about my daughter's contribution to the team - her hard work, her all-out play on the floor, and her example to others about how hard work really does pay off!  Yep, the glow on that side of the auditeria was coming from my table! 

What I am most proud of is not what my daughter did (though she was a key cog in a team that was a semi-state finalist in Indiana Class 2A), but rather, who she is becoming.  She is becoming quite a young lady who is developing her leadership.  She is a member of the National Honor Society and is getting involved in community service.  She is a team leader.  She is an encourager.  Younger students look up to her because she brings positive energy to all.

As we were getting ready to leave the banquet, one of the coaches from the junior high girls team spoke with me about my daughter.  She interns for this coach who is a teacher at the high school.  The teacher told me that she is honored to have my daughter intern and that she is a blessing to her.  I thanked the teacher and told her how much she meant to my daughter.  The teacher's response:  "She's such a great young lady." 

Lord, all three of my children are awesome.  Thank you for how you have wired them.  I thank you for the contributions they are making to society and to your Kingdom.  Please continue to lead and guide their lives.  Give them dreams that exceed their circumstances.  Give them courage to passionately pursue the dreams you give them.  And please, give them a joy that comes from knowing and loving you!