Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Give it Some Time

Ministerial Meditations

by The Rev. Connie Yost

July 2, 2013

Management guru Peter Drucker

I recently saw the movie, Before Midnight in which a committed couple with a long history argue and say some terrible things to each other, but clearly love each other.  She says she doesn't love him and he knows she doesn't mean it  --  probably, maybe, hopefully.  There's a threat on the horizon, that he'll give in to the need to move to Chicago to be near his son, and she will have to decide to either go with him, giving up her career and current life, or not.  How to make that choice?  Better to decide now that she doesn't love him and it is over.  She decides.  Not him.  Now, not later.  Case closed.

Only life doesn't work like that.  Well, I guess you can make it work like that--you can preempt things by making defensive moves, but I think that's a mistake.  I understand the impulse though.  It always feels better to me when I think I am in control of a situation, no matter how wrong my decision may be in the grander scheme of things.  There's just something so primeval about needing to feel in control of our own destiny -- safe -- that we can actually do things that hurt us and lead us far astray from our life force and true passions.

It should be easy, we think.  If it isn't easy, it "isn't meant to be."  There are all kinds of sayings and mind games we can readily utilize to justify whatever we think we want or need to do.  That's what you need to keep in mind.  Just because you can make it make perfect sense -- even justify it in ways that completely exonerates yourself -- doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.  The management guru Peter Drucker famously said something I take as spiritual truth:  "No one has ever failed to find the facts they are looking for."

So, how should we make decisions instead?  First of all, allow some time to pass.  Time changes everything, I've come to realize, and yet, curiously, certain truths remain timeless.  Time, I am sure, is not our enemy.  Popular culture asks us to fear time because it marches us straight into the grave, wrinkling and sagging along the way, but that is just dead wrong. 

Time is our friend, period. What is the old, wise adage?   "Sleep on it."  When confronted with life's big challenges, do that -- for many nights.  But don't let it become a trap, too.  You have to find the right balance between passionately flying off the handle and analysis paralysis.  When the right decision comes to you after many nights of sleeping on it, then you must find a way to act on it.  Maybe that is the hardest thing of all.  “The problem in my life and other people's lives is not the absence of knowing what to do but the absence of doing it,” Peter Drucker dryly observes.  

It's not easy, and if it is easy for you, won't you tell me how you do it?

                                                                                                  Love, Connie

“Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window. ”  Peter Drucker

Copyright 2013 Constance B. Yost. All rights reserved.