Just shove a Kleenex in your nose

ティッシュ tissue

 

Are you have a tough time with life right now? Maybe you are struggling today just because it’s Monday. I’m sure there are a million different reasons to “hate life” right now.  Life is just tough some days.

I was just at a funeral last week for Ginny McGee. She was a  wonderful godly women and my sisters mother in law.  I sat there crying as her family told beautiful stories about her life. I was thinking about my family and how short life is. Sitting next to me was my sister who was holding my niece’s  little girl Mia.  Mia had a huge smile on her face as she sat there clueless to the hurt and pain in the room.

She was just happy to be alive and with family.  That moment watching her reminded of  Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV) :

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Mia was modeling childlike faith and didn’t even know it. She didn’t question if  she was going to be OK   in the midst of pain, hurt and suffering. She simply trusted because she was surrounded by love.

The same is true for us.

No matter what is happening in your life, you are surrounded with the love of God. He does not cause the hurt pain and suffering in your life but He will use it to for your good. As I sat there next to Mia, she had a Kleenex in her hand that she was twisting up. I watched her as she smiled and just kept twisting.

Then, at a moment when almost everyone was crying in the room…Mia shoved the Kleenex up her nose and just sat there with a smile on her face.  My sister and I couldn’t help but laugh. In a moment our entire mood changed. We were still at the funeral. We were still grieving.

What changed was our focus.

For a moment we took our focus off the pain and hurt and enjoyed the childlike moment.

Trusting in Jesus with childlike faith is little bit like shoving a Kleenex up your nose at a funeral. It doesn’t take away the hurt, pain and loss…but it reminds us that there is always something to smile about because we are surrounded by the love of God in the midst of the pain.

If today is a bad day…just shove a Kleenex up your nose and smile because you are surrounded by love.

Question: How can you live life more like a child?

 

 

 

No one asked you to be superman.

Superhero with space for logo

I am the CEO of Midwest Complete here in the Illinois and I pastor element Church. The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me with our company. So busy that something had to give.  It was painful but during the two weeks I had to say no to people and items on my to do list  just to keep my rhythm and sanity.  I had to prioritize and ask myself “What are the most important things that I had to get done, and what could wait, be postponed or delegated?”  Here are the decisions that I made:

1. I skipped one blog post.

2. I skipped one podcast episode.

3. I had someone else preach at element one week.

4. I cancelled my plans with friends to go to a movie.

5. I rescheduled a meeting .

 

During this time I was able to maintain the three things that are vital in my life: time with God, time with my wife and kids and time to exercise.

I knew if I was going stay healthy mentally, physically and spiritually I had to make some tough calls. You see, no one asked me to be superman…and no one asked you to be superman either. You do not have to be the end all be all to everything. I have amazing men and women in our company and in our church that I can turn to and delegate not only projects but authority to make leadership calls when I am unavailable. I chose to not preach at element because I knew I could not commit the amount of time I feel is needed to prepare a sermon. I am human and I do not have to do everything nor do I have to preach every message or make every decision. I also believe that I am “In Ministry” no matter what I am doing.  I made it through the two weeks by giving responsibility to others and understanding that I do not wear an S on my chest.  Be honest with what you can actually handle. Be able to delegate and  say no to things you love to do in high stress situations. I love to preach, write blogs posts and podcast. I love to equip, train and empower people. But if I am honest, I enjoy the personal encouragement, the pat on the back, email, or text I receive so often  from preaching, writing or pod-casting.

Listen very carefully to this next statement:  If you allow your need for affirmation (which every human needs on some level)  to get in the way of your leadership, you will burn out. It will be your Kryptonite.

If there are any areas where you feel that “If I don’t do this it won’t be good enough”…you are fooling yourself. You have fallen in to the trap of thinking you are superman. In your head, you are the person that has to swoop in and do everything. I am all for working hard, being efficient and getting things done. It can’t be to feed our ego so we look good.  Hang up your cape. Surround yourself with men and women that can carry the load when needed. Don’t just delegate tasks, delegate authority. No one asked you to be superman.

Question: In what ways have you tried to be Superman?