This idea resonated with me today. In the Western world we all have so much, yet many of us suffer from FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out.
If I make a decision to take job X I may miss out on job Y. Each decision and choice we make has a cost, an opportunity cost. But it is sometimes this fear of missing out, of wanting it all and working ever so hard to determine how we can have everything that eventually causes us to fall. Our fear forces us to fail.
FOMO is real. By His grace I can think of countless decisions I have made that have been a blessing but have also meant that I missed out. I chose to say yes to my man and missed a year of possible travel. I chose to say yes to have another baby and missed out on a big career opportunity. I suspect there are smaller things that I encounter each day that also force me to debate X and Y. But I don’t want fear or failure to be the guiding forces. Wise decision making. If you want to know more you can read it/ watch it it here from Tyler David : Wisdom in Decision Making. at the Austin Stone Community Church.
This idea has been buzzing in my head all day. How do we build character and be people of integrity, grit and tenacity? How do we acquire wisdom and communicate with authenticity?
I want to be a person of character. A woman who keeps her word. I want to say what I mean and be clear about what I need and want and expect. I want to respect others, love, serve and encourage them as much as I would want that for myself.
So building character is about relationship. I am shaped by the people who intersect with my life. The people I choose to let in and become friends, those people of peace and who speak into my life are incredibly powerful. It is very important then that I consider the relationships I have and surround myself with influences that are positive, that build me up and not tear me down. Now this might seem like an obvious point. But it is so easy to get absorbed by the vortex of gossip and social expectation that sometimes we don’t make good choices.
Who are the people that make you laugh? Who are the people that invite you to think deeply and wisely about life? Who are the people that walk by your side when life is hard? Who are the people that mentor you, protect you and want the best for you? Make these people your friends. With them, build character.
On a recent road trip one of my girls had this song on her playlist: Gotye, Somebody that I used to know. It is a nice enough Indie Pop song and a pleasant car trip track. However, at my age the song’s title has quite some significance. There are a number of people who were once so close, significant and influential in my life. And yet now they have become merely someone that I used to know. How did that happen? Why do we let some people into our lives for a season and then drift away? Why do others get pushed to the side or left behind?
Every now and again they pop up on Facebook as a potential friend. But if I am honest I know that they are not a friend, but merely someone that I used to know. With time, experience and some wisdom I hope that we get better at relationships. We know how to negotiate the complexities of friendship, romantic love, family feuds and collegiality. We have real boundaries, clear expectations, knowledge of commitment and generous hearts to forgive and persevere when things get hard.
Relationships are hard work. Marriage, parents, children, siblings, girlfriends, colleagues, neighbours. The R factor is important.
He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles. (Prov. 21:23)I have been thinking about words all morning. My impatient words and response when a child expresses disappointment about what is in the lunchbox. Sibling’s words to each other that are driven by a selfish heart. Seeking words, that are looking for some TLC and attention. And words just used badly – grumbling, speaking back, mumbling, hurting words. Words said in truth but thoughtlessly. Proverbs 12:18 reminds us that “reckless words pierce like a sword.”
As a parent I cannot be with my kids 24/7. There will be other influences and peers have a considerable impact. How do we also help our kids choose friends wisely when there may not be many to choose from? He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Prov. 13:20)
I am feeling in need of help today. My action plan is to be involved with them, listen, really listen to what is happening in their world, talk through their day, pray and ask God to protect them and grant them wisdom and me too.