JOINING the community of faith involves a plethora of opportunities to learn and grow. Growth is our engagement in the good things of life by God’s grace. Here are ten easy-to-remember ideas for growth, which breed hope, peace, and joy:
1. Try your Best – one constant thread that links the most successful athletes, artists, and business people is they never give up. They simply refuse to believe anything that speaks against their vision — that vision that God perhaps gave them. This is our opportunity; to believe what we heard long ago… to chase that dream. But at the very least we need to bounce back when we’re beset by setbacks.
2. Be a Good Guest – many times in life we’re in others’ territory and we must be respectful, sincere guests, full of integrity. Being a good guest means we’re content allowing others to make a home in us even as we’re away from home. It’s about being someone who’s safe to be around even when we might feel vulnerable ourselves. It’s something worthy to aspire to.
3. Make Room for Appropriate Jest – seriousness is a necessary element of success, but so is the appropriate use of serendipity; humour is a relief valve. But our humour must be respectful, and it needs to be appropriate for the situation. Humour helps us make light of the darkness. It helps us not sweat the small stuff so much. But we must counterbalance it with truth so we don’t use humour to deny the real issues in our lives.
4. Don’t Forget to Invest – we must sow into life if we’re to reap significance so far as our legacy is concerned. Investing is about actually stepping into the arena of life; actually taking the risks we need to in making things happen. It’s about sowing into relationships and giving more than what would be safe to give.
5. Build a Good Nest – wisdom dictates that we nurture ourselves, our families, and those ones God places in our orbit. Building a good nest is about being a home to people, and making a home where people can safely come. And be who they are. Be themselves. Home is as much a place of heart as it’s anything. Building a good nest is nurture, discernment, and wisdom. It’s believing in the value of place.
6. Don’t Be a Pest – nobody likes arrogance, petulant ignorance, nastiness, or wilful indifference. We serve life well when we serve those in our midst well. There’s no need to be a pest.
7. Make Life Your Quest – only you can define what God gives you as the answer to the meaning of life. But making life your quest will ensure you don’t settle for a lesser life than you deserve, and that God deserves; that he can achieve through you.
8. Don’t Forget to Rest – drive, passion, and enthusiasm are crucial to success, but the bane of success is burnout. Rest is whatever we find rejuvenating, revitalising, and recovering.
9. Stand the Test – life is one long series of tests, and mostly of our moral and physical integrity, our resilience, and tenacity. Standing the test is not about not failing, for we’ll all stumble. But the important thing is not to fall, which would be to leave failures unreconciled. To leave things unreconciled that could be improved is unforgivable because it means we don’t care. It bides in us well when we reconcile everything that can be reconciled.
10. Explore the West – be prepared to travel. Make the most of opportunities. If we live in the west, yet we travel further west, we’ll find ourselves ultimately in the east.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.