You and I live in an age of political correctness gone crazy. The greatest frustration is that in an age of being sensitive and considerate (attributes that I greatly admire), we have lost the ability to be honest and forthright. It seems that in every conversation, everyone needs to feel good. Meetings should end with happiness and a smile. Confrontations need to be gentle and collegial. Candidly, I do not know how to be honest and consistent with the last three sentences at the same time. I do not know if it is possible. Candidly, I doubt it.
As I look back in history, I find great individuals willing to take and be in the middle of difficult situations. I am sure that not everyone was a hope filled experience. Great leaders in the world have endured long dark periods of their life – images of Winston Churchill and Abe Lincoln quickly appear in my mind. Some of my heroes, Mahatma Gandhi included, struggled for decades to strive for goals that they never quite reached. Many risked their lives for what they believed in. The number of difficult conversations, with adversaries, allies, and even Divinity were endless.
I would gently observe that in adversity, each has an opportunity to grow from the inside out. In times of distress, one examines the priorities and values that shape life itself. In time of uncertainty, one intuitively senses the foundation on which their life rests.
Infused in the midst of this are tough conversations. We may not like them, but we do need to hear them with our hearts as well as our minds. When God whispers, “you continue, so bullheaded! Calluses on your hearts, flaps on your ears! Deliberately ignoring the Holy Spirit, you're just like your ancestors.” (Acts 7.51) We would do well to listen. When God reminds us, ever so quietly, that we are beloved children of Divinity; we would do well to listen.
As today dawns, the Spirit is talking. The messages are uniquely ours. We should listen to expressions of the blues and hope.
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