在生活與作為中取得平衡

By Jim Langley

在莎士比亞經典的文學作品哈姆雷特裡面,有一句很有名的話:「活著或死去,這是一個值得思考的問題- 要默然忍受命運的暴虐的毒箭,或是挺身反抗人世的無涯的苦難」從莎士比亞的描述,我們看到人活著的本質。

多年來我一直很好奇,生活和有作為到底應該如何取得平衡?在商業和專業的領域裡面,做事是最基本的。我們會列出代辦事項,把行程表記在手冊、電腦或是智慧型手機裡面,並且訂下精確的可量化的目標,用心中的一把尺來丈量自己的生產力、獲利和成就。我們非常注重做事,但是對於生活呢?

多年前,我的朋友Jay Carty 寫了一篇文章,讓我印象深刻永生難忘。Jay如同大部分的男士承認自己是一個強調做事的人,他的太太 Mary 卻挑戰他不僅僅要做事,也要好好生活。。

這幾年來,我一直思考單純活著這件事,這個想法主要來自聖經。神跟摩西說明自己是自有永有的,祂說:「我是」,讓以色列人知道是誰要摩西帯他們出埃及。在出埃及記三章十四節裡面,神對摩西說:「我是自有永有的」;又說:「你要對以色列人這樣說:『那自有的打發我到你們這裏來。』」這句話說明了單純活著和有作為需要取的平衡的基本態度。你覺得自己是什麼樣的人?

Jay Carty 出版了一本八福給患難中的年輕人。很多成年人也從 Jay 富有創意、色彩豐富、描述耶穌教訓的八福故事裡得到許多啟示。馬太福音5章3-11節裡面八個連續的「有福的」也啟發了我關於生活與作為的態度。

我們傾向於做,也從工作當中獲得應得的報酬。但是我覺得神並沒有特別重視我們所做的。祂最重視的是我們和祂以及我們身邊的人的關係。這跟生活比較有關係而非作為。

當我們忙忙碌碌的做事,拒絕慢下來安靜聽神的話、禱告、思想祂對我們的期待,我們很容易偏離神要我們走的路。如同有人說神希望找得到我們,而非要我們做很多事。

想想神能用超過光速的力量轉動宇宙,我們的速度相較之下如同蝸牛。單單因為這個原因,我們就應該知道自己應該慢下來看看我們的四周,感受神的工作和同在,聆聽祂的聲音以致我們可以明白祂對我們的心意。我們需要停下來,用心觀看和聆聽,因為神在詩篇46篇10節提醒我們:「你們要休息,要知道我是上帝!… 」如果我們可以遵守祂的命令並且應用在我們的生活中,我們會對自己能做成許多事情感到驚訝。

吉姆.朗立自1983年起就擔任紐約人壽的保險經紀人和特許人壽保險承銷商,從1987年起他也是美國加州聖塔巴巴拉CBMC分會的活躍會員。

省思/討論題目
你如何區別生活和作為?你認為自己是一個強調做事的人嗎?這樣的人有什麼好處或壞處? 你認為在職場實行「生活」的原則很困難嗎?從你的角度來看,這是可能做到的嗎?解釋一下你的答案。 你覺得神說:「我是自有永有的」這句話對在要求高、競爭激烈的職場中跟隨耶穌的人有什麼意義? 想像身為職場專業人士的你,決定定期的實行這個命令-「你們要休息,要知道我是上帝! 」對你所在職場的位置、表現和生產力會有什麼影響?備註:如果你手上有聖經想要看或討論其他關於這個主題的聖經經節,請參考:馬太福音5章1-12節;約翰福音6章29節、15章5節;哥林多前書15章10節;以弗所書 2章8-10節;腓立比書4章13節


BALANCING “DOING” WITH “BEING”
By Jim Langley

In William Shakespeare”s classic literary work, Hamlet, he includes the famous words, "To be, or not to be – that is the question: Whether is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles…." Through these, Shakespeare states, we see the essence of simply being.

For years I have been intrigued with the concept of being versus doing. In the business and professional world, doing is foundational to our work. We create “to-do lists,” maintain schedules either manually or on our computers and smartphones, establish specific, measurable goals and objectives, evaluate performance by bottom lines that reflect sales, productivity and profits. We are all about “doing.” But what about “being”?

Many years ago my friend Jay Carty wrote a short article that has stuck with me ever since. Jay, like most men, admitted he was a doer. His wife, Mary, challenged him to not focus on doing but on just being. In time he found that perspective became revolutionary in his life.

Over the years I have dabbled with the idea of simply being rather than doing. My main source of study has been the Bible, and I find it fascinating to learn God referred to Himself to Moses as "I AM" for the purpose of letting the Israelites know who had sent Moses to free His people. In Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” Then He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.” It seems this involves a being-versus-doing attitude. Do you consider yourself a doer?

Jay Carty published a book on the Beatitudes designed for young boys and girls dealing with adversity in life. However, many adults have also gleaned much from Jay”s creative approach of using eight colorfully illustrated stories to explain the teachings of Jesus. The term “Blessed are…” began nine consecutive statements as Jesus taught the multitude, as recounted in Matthew 5:3-11. I have found it instructional to note Jesus taught the be-attitudes and not the do-attitudes!

Doing is our natural tendency, and we certainly are compensated for doing things, not for sitting and staring out windows. But I have come to conclude God is not particularly focused on all we do. He is most concerned about our relationship with Him and those He puts around us. It really is more about our being, and not our doing.

When we busily go around doing things, refusing to slow down long enough to listen to God, to pray, or even consider what He expects of us, we run a great risk of missing out on what God wants of us. As someone has said, it is all about our availability – not our ability.

Think about God having the ability to move through this universe faster than the speed of light, while we move along at a snail”s pace in comparison. For this reason alone, we would be wise to slow down and realize the need to look around us, experience God”s handiwork and His presence, and listen so we can discern His desires for our lives. We need to stop, look and listen – to “be still and know that I am God,” as He reminds us in Psalm 46:10. If we can master this command and apply its reality to our lives, we might be amazed at how much we can get done!

© 2015, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been an agent and chartered life underwriter (CLU) with New York Life since 1983 and an active member of CBMC of Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. since 1987.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
How would you distinguish between “doing” and “being”? Do you consider yourself to be a “doer”? What are some positives – and negatives – of this? Why do you think it is so difficult to practice “being” in the workplace? Is it even possible, from your perspective? Explain your answer. What do you think God meant when He declared “I AM WHO I AM”? What relevance – if any – do you think this assertion has for followers of Jesus Christ as they start each day in the demanding, competitive workplace? Imagine you determined to take time regularly to apply the command, “Be still and know that I am God.” How do you think this could have a positive impact on your status, performance and productivity as a business or professional person?NOTE: If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Matthew 5:1-12; John 6:29, 15:5; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 4:13

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