Tag: Present

Scars

Scars come in many forms. We may have physical scars left from an accident or surgery. We may also have emotional scars left from the pain of loss, hurt, or embarrassment.

David Rossi says, “Scars show us where we have been; they do not dictate where we are going.”

Emotional scars have a profound impact on where we are in the present. Pain, hurt, or embarrassment often alter our view of the world around us.

We have a responsibility to ensure a better future for those we lead. God’s family provides a refuge for those who are hurting, and we have an opportunity to change where we are going.

In the Middle

Endurance is never needed when life is good. We need endurance when life does not measure up to our expectations.

During those difficult times, we experience a range of emotions and thoughts. We often consider how to abandon ship. We begin to think that if we could just quit, somehow everything would return to normal or get better. However, you and I both know it does not work that way.

Although the author is unknown, this interesting thought was expressed, “The past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson. Don’t give up in the middle!”

The point is simple: Endure.

Near and Far Sighted

The eye is an amazing part of the human body, but there is not enough space to cover its complex intricacies.

However, as we age, our arm does not often extend quite far enough to read the print on a page.

Two conditions normally occur: 1) nearsightedness – the ability to see things up close, but not far away, or 2) farsightedness – the ability to see things far away, but not up close.

Spiritually, leaders must avoid both conditions. Leaders need the ability to see needs that exist up close (present), and they must see what will happen far away (future).

Seeing both near and far makes it possible to address current needs and plan for the future.

The Past

We cannot live in the past, nor can we return to change it. If we had a chance to live yesterday over I am sure there are areas we would change.

Yesterday provides a benefit to our leadership in several ways.

1) We can learn from the successes and failures.
2) We can plan a better future based on the history.
3) We can establish measures to prevent duplicating mistakes.
4) We can lead others onto a straighter course.

I know we all strive to survive the present with an anticipation of the future. However, we also need to stop on occasion and benefit from the past.

Powerful Communication

How can leaders ensure their message is understood?

Have a clear understanding of the past, present, and future. How did you get here? Where are you now? What direction are you headed?

Prepare a strong defense as to why you are communicating this specific message at this specific time.

Plan how the destination will be reached and communicate it often to ensure no one forgets.

Implement a confirmation brief, which means you ask others to explain what they heard you say.

It takes time and effective communication to get everyone on the same page.

Past, Present, and Future Lessons

Several years ago, I came across a quote that I loved. It simply said, “The past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson. Don’t give up in the middle.”

Based on the lessons learned, the wisdom gained directs the decisions, attitudes, and actions of our future. Here, we apply the lessons gained from past experiences.

The challenge is learning to never give up in between learning the lessons which are connected to our past and recovering enough to make the proper application of those lessons in the future.

Leaders do well to learn and apply accordingly.

I Surrender All

Paul told Christians in Romans 12 to present their bodies a living and holy sacrifice.

The idea is based on an Old Testament reference to sacrifices. When God’s people brought their sacrifice, it was presented as an offering to the Lord, which meant they surrendered all rights of ownership and any plans for future use.

When leaders understand this concept their perspective changes concerning how they lead God’s people.

If we could grasp the significance of this one practice, the culture of the church would change and our influence in the world would be immeasurable.

May we all present ourselves to the Lord!

Leading into Tomorrow

More than a few people struggle with past mistakes. Guilt makes us wish we could return to the past and make corrections, even though we know it is impossible.

The challenge is overcoming the desire to live in the past and not allowing the mistakes of the past to dictate our future.

We must learn from the past and realize that our future is determined by the choices we make today to shape a better tomorrow.

If we make decisions built on a spiritual foundation, the direction of tomorrow is one that ensures a future with eternal significance.

Leading in the Present…

Where have we been? Where are we now? Where do we want to go?

Nido Qubein once claimed, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

Yesterday’s choices often determine our present circumstances. The choices we make today determine the consequences we live with tomorrow.

As we consider our present circumstances, we must make a choice, but make the choice understanding the impact it will have on tomorrow.

The starting point we have today can make all the difference in how we move into the future and prepare for a greater life, physically and spiritually.

Memories…

Memories are good and bad. There are times, events, and people we remember fondly because of the joy experienced. There are also times, events, and people we want to forget because of the negativity experienced.

It would be wonderful if our only memories were positive and fond. However, we know it does not work this way. Memories serve to help us if we learn to do a couple of important steps.

Repeat what works and is successful.

Avoid the consequences experienced and overcome.

If we do so, the future holds greater memories when we recall them.