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：
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.
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