Life Notes—August 18, 2011
The past couple of days have been rough at work. I chair a committee of about sixty people from across the nation and we have been working through difficult and contentious issues—issues that have divided our professional community into three distinct camps. The first group believes things are fine and no significant changes are needed. The second group believes we are headed for big trouble if we do not make significant changes soon. The third, and largest group, stays mostly divorced from the issues dividing the first two. This group is either too wrapped up in their day-to-day tasks or they are so put off by the divisive discussions they simply tune out.
While we are united in our search for what is good for our industry, we are far apart in what we believe will lead to that greatest good. Yesterday was our monthly conference call and it was just plain ugly. It is one thing to have testy discussions over issues or positions. It is quite another when those discussions get personal. Or when one person makes a false statement and others jump in and build upon that false statement. Things spiral out of control very quickly. In my mind I found myself wishing all sorts of ill-will on some of my colleagues. I, too, was getting personal—just not verbally.
When I got home I was exhausted and frustrated. As I tried to calm my mind in preparation for sleep I read the verse above. It’s a familiar and favorite verse to me, “Don’t be conformed to this world…” I know I shouldn’t join those who use less-than-honorable tactics to attempt to strengthen their positions. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Yes, I knew I needed renewal. I needed rest and I needed distance between myself and the day. I prayed for renewal and perspective, “…so you may discern the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
When I woke up this morning I was better. Near the end of my two-mile walk I was even able to admit these people I was so mad at are also children of God, just like me; passionate about their profession, just like me; and opinionated, just like me. Coming to agreement in a large group of people on what is right, or at least what is best, can be a painful process. But seeking renewal through the transformation of our minds helps keep the process in perspective. And helps us treat others with love and respect.
Austin Rivera is preaching downtown this Sunday. Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall. Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00. TheHondurasmission team will share their experiences at the west campus, where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.
Come home to church this Sunday. Got renewal?
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator