There are always possibilities with the future. Things could go perfectly; though they rarely do. People can respond as you anticipate; however unlikely this scenario might be. Conflicts might resolve themselves along the way, like dominos falling into place. Regardless of how one looks forward, with hope or pessimism, it is natural to anticipate the variations that might come to light along with an early prediction of how those with something in the game will respond, react, and engage.
Whatever might happen in the future is often telegraphed by early warning flags in the present. A clear warning sign is anything in the personal trust space. When others express their fear of the person, their motives and activities, working to focus attention on people instead of content, a flag is waving! For the person leading the process it is natural to try and dismiss the actions as something that can and should be ignored. Often the desire to ignore the warning sign centers on a clich?s talking about it taking two to have a conflict. Assurances are given to all involved on how right the solution is, how honorable the goal is to be achieved, and calling people to engagement.
The trouble is that this all misses the point! A warning sign is a flag. The flag is waving, often vigorously. Saying the flag doesn’t mean anything misses the point made by the fact that the flag is moving at all. Taking consideration, confronting the problem as early as possible, and dealing with the issue now always brings the best chance of success.
Politicians of today often don’t do this and serious conundrums result. Jesus took a different approach with the flags of his day. “And yet here you are trying to kill me, a man who has spoken to you the truth he got straight from God! Abraham never did that sort of thing.” (John 8.40)
Flags are never the problem; blindness and denial are. Flags carry messages, insights, and often cries for help. Today is our opportunity to see, hear, and make a difference.
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