Sunday, April 21, 2024

Vine Media

葡萄樹傳媒

你是否該勒住那快速往前衝的行程?

約翰.歐文是一位商界的高級主管。在他的書「成功的吊詭」中說到,當他事業達到頂峰時,他個人的生活卻落到谷底。他的妻子與兩個孩子離開他,他的員工不願與他有公事以外的關係,甚至他的朋友也變得「冷淡且疏遠」。他成為企業領袖的典型例子:在事業上很成功,但在最基本的日常生活中卻破產了!

在書中,歐文寫道:「在辦公室裡,我的周圍沒有一樣是平靜的。我的腦中有一百萬個想法,還有一千件要完成的工作。東西的雜亂更增加混亂的氣氛。我的電腦銀幕上貼了許多自黏便條貼紙,旁邊還有許多尚未閱讀的書、雜誌和報紙堆在每個表面上。我還買了一個會散發負離子的小噴泉以紓緩壓力,但氣候太乾燥,所以水都蒸發掉了。而噴泉的小馬達沒有製造出流水的平靜效果,反而發出喀啦喀啦的噪音。」

這個描述是否也反映了你的生活?若是如此,我有一個字的建議:停!在你那往前衝的行程中踩煞車,放慢腳步去注意你周圍的世界。

每年許多教會有紀念四旬期(復活節前40天)的傳統,這是紀念耶穌基督在曠野40天,預備自己去面對極大的試探。你可在聖經新約中的馬太福音4章1-11節找到這段經文。

我們許多人在某種程度上也像歐文,忙碌地從一個地方衝到另一個地方,要追求更大更多、有挑戰性的目標--常常沒有停下來問自己一個簡單的問題:為什麼?

再過不久四旬期就會來到。即使你不上教堂,或者你不相信宗教,你最好還是明智地考慮每年一次「安靜退修」。如四旬期所建議,訂一段時間自我訓練,在環繞你的混亂中安靜下來,去觀察你周圍的人,以及你在他們生命中所造成的影響。你所重視的目標是否值得你做這麼大的犧牲?

最好不要等到四旬期才這麼做,今天就開始問自己以下問題,並尋找答案:
近期我個人和家庭有何清楚的目標? 我生命中有什麼舊的事必須結束,新的事才能取代它們? 處在忙亂的世界中,我要如何維持聖潔、平靜?若不能停下一段時間誠實地問自己這些問題,並決定如何回應你的答案,最後的代價可能會超乎你的想像。如耶穌所說:「因為,凡要救自己生命的,必喪掉生命;凡為我喪掉生命的,必救了生命」(路加福音9章24節)。

思想 / 討論題目
你是否與約翰.歐文在他書中所描述他生活的情況一樣?或者你想到某個人符合那描述?當你讀到他的描述,你有何感覺? 歐文全力追求事業成功,使他失去家人和好友。在你看來,一個人可以因為個人或公司的目標很重要,就犧牲一切嗎?請解釋。 本文作者建議三個問題來幫助你在「安靜退修」時可以再次評估你工作與個人生活的方向。你會如何回答那些問題? 根據你的回答,你認為在未來幾天、幾週和幾個月你應該考慮做什麼改變?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言4章23節,16章2節,21章2節,27章23-27節,28章2節;傳道書5章10-20節;馬太福音5章19-24、33-34節


IS IT TIME TO REIN IN YOUR RUNAWAY SCHEDULE?

By: Robert D. Foster

Business executive John Owens, in his book, The Paradox of Success, tells about being at the top of corporate life, but at the rock bottom of his personal life. His wife and two children had left him; his employees and officers had removed themselves from any informal relationships with him; even his friends had become "cool and distant." He had become a classic example of a business leader that was prospering in business, but had become bankrupted in the basics of everyday life!

In the book, Owens writes, "Nothing around me in this office is peaceful. I have a million thoughts running through my head and a list of what seems like a thousand tasks to finish. Clutter contributes to an atmosphere of chaos. Self-stick notes outline my computer screen, and stacks of unread books, magazines and newspapers sit in small piles on most open surfaces. I bought a Zen water foundation that puts negative ions into the air to reduce stress, but the climate is so dry that the water evaporates, and the small motor makes gurgling sounds rather than the calming effect of falling water."

Does this description in any way reflect your own life? If so, I have one word of advice: STOP! Put the brakes on your runaway schedule. Slow down long enough to notice the world around you.

Annually many churches hold an observance called Lent. It is a 40-day tradition in remembrance of Jesus Christ and the 40 days He spent in the wilderness, living and disciplining Himself in preparation for the supreme temptations He would be facing. You can find the account in Matthew 4:1-11, found in the Bible”s New Testament.

Many of us, to some degree, are like Owens, frantically dashing from one place to the next in the relentless quest to achieve bigger and more challenging goals – often without pausing long enough to ask ourselves a simple question: Why?

Before long another Lenten season will be upon us. Even if you are not a church-goer, even if you are not a religious person, you might be wise to consider taking an annual “retreat” such as Lent suggests, declaring a time of self-denial and discipline, quieting the chaos around you long enough to observe the people around you and the impact you are having – or are not having – on their lives. Are your cherished goals and objectives worth exacting such a toll?

Better yet, do not wait until the onset of the Lenten season. Start today by asking and seeking answers to questions like these:
What are my clear personal and family goals for the days immediately ahead of me? What old things in my life must die before some of the new things can be birthed to take their place? How can I achieve a place of sanctity and serenity in the midst of my busy world?Failure to pause long enough to honestly ask yourself these questions, and decide how to respond to your answers, may ultimately cost more than you can imagine. As Jesus said, "Whoever loses his life for MY sake will save it, but whoever insists on keeping his life will lose it" (Luke 9:24).

Taken and adapted from Take Three on Monday Morning, an e-mail meditation published by Robert D. Foster.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Can you identify with the way John Owens describes his life in his book – or can you think of someone else that fits that description? As you read it, how does it make you feel? His commitment to business success cost Owens his family and significant relationships. In your view, could someone ever justify making personal or corporate goals so important that they would be willing to sacrifice everything else, if necessary? Explain your answer. Robert Foster suggests three questions to help as you take a brief “retreat” to re-evaluate the direction of your professional and personal life. How would you answer them? In light of your responses, what changes, if any, do you think you should consider in the coming days, weeks and months?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:

Proverbs 4:23, 16:2, 21:2, 27:23-27, 28:2; Ecclesiastes 5:10-20; Matthew 5:19-24, 33-34

2