As I sit listening on a conference call, I was surprised yet again. I am always surprised by content. Content goes beyond the speaker. In spite of confusing words, rambling dialogue, content gets through. It is as if the truth buried within the words reaches out and delivers its punch. I can feel it even before I recognize its message. Sometimes I agree. On other occasions, like this call, I sat baffled. Did the speaker know that he was saying? Did he understand his message?
Even in reflection, I am not sure. It is too easy to conclude that the answer is yes. As adults, we always know what we are saying. We understand our choices. We are intentional in our actions and words. In my experience, life is never that simple. I may think I know what I am saying or writing, however with hindsight, I am not so sure. I believe I understand my choices when they come, however given the regret after the fact, I am not so sure. Even being intentional is problematic! I may think I know what I am doing. Life suggests that I am more often than not responding to the moment.
To help align content with intent and action, I find myself holding onto the following mantras.
“Spirit, as much or more than physical conditioning, needs to be stored up before a race.” (Quote adapted from Herb Elliott, Olympic champion and one time record holder in the mile) One must be reflective and ready for a moment before the moment comes.
Know your priorities and values before you need to use them. Understand them. Breathe them in deeply. Hold onto them, tightly.
Act knowing that you will rarely get it perfect. All many noted across the ages, “the Message came through anyway.” (1 Corinthians 2.4)
Prepare, reflect, and act. It is important to do them in order. Life is full of twists and turns. Each moment is an opportunity to let our hearts tell our story. The content will come through. As it does, the cycle starts again.