Reflection. Waiting. Silence.
What all do these three words have in common? Leadership.
It takes a true leader to stop and set time aside to reflect on one’s life. We can never attain true perfection in this life so there is always room for improvement and progress. Reflection means reviewing an action, conversation, or thought and examining what was good and what should change when it comes to that particular outcome.
I have been reflecting lately on my own life. What am I doing well? What can I do better? The answer is: everything. I do everything well, but I can also do everything better. I need to strive to be a better wife, mom, teacher, and friend. This will be accomplished by taking more time out of my schedule for myself. If I can spend ten or fifteen minutes at the end of a day in reflection I will see change. I need to reflect on what I could do differently in my life in order to be the best I can be. In order to serve others in my roles the best way I can I must first have JOY. Joy comes from the happiness one finds in life. I need to seek joy in spite of hardships. I need to take myself less seriously and relax knowing that God has everything in control even when I don’t.
Along with reflection I must also learn to wait. Not only does waiting mean the idea of putting off gratification in order to obtain something desired, but it also means to rest. In order to be the best I can be with my many roles I must learn the art of waiting and practice it on a regular basis. I so often run myself into the ground because my lifestyle is one that is constantly on the move. I often view sitting and relaxing with a negative connotation. However, rest is completely imperative to maintaining a balanced life. Currently, I am battling with a pretty nasty cold, and it seems like over the past few months my immune system has really been compromised. I can’t help but think that if I had spent more time waiting or resting then I may have been strong enough to fight off this cold. Rest gives your body an edge over illness, and so it is obvious I need more rest in my life.
Waiting is also about giving your will and concerns to God and allowing Him to direct your path. When I get caught up in my own busy life I rarely take the time to ask God what He wants from me or if I am doing His will. In addition to spending time daily reflecting I see now that it is so important to also wait daily on God. He uses this time to show you what you may have been too busy to see before or may have missed in the hustle and bustle of life. I currently have been praying for direction in some areas of my life, but have not felt God directing me. This is not a case of God not answering my prayer…I know that it is a case of me not listening for His answer. I’ve continued life at a busy pace, but God wants me to slow down and listen to what He has to say.
This leads to the third point I need to make. Silence. God speaks to us in the silence. If we can shut down our mind from distractions, God will meet us in the silence. This is such a hard practice for me to get into. My mind is full of to-do lists and ideas, but what I need to do for myself is shut down every once in a while and sit in silence. The silence makes us more apt to hear from God and feel His tugging on our hearts. Silence can be uncomfortable because it does force us to be aware of ourselves and surroundings. Silence goes against my nature, but it is a discipline I feel led to pursue.
A good leader takes time for themselves. You cannot constantly give,give, give without somewhere receiving. We receive from God when we reflect, wait, and observe silence. God can use us when He can work on us. I challenge myself as well as my readers to set aside some time to allow God to work in your life. Stop telling God and talking to God and truly wait on His work and answers. If you’re anything like me this is a hard practice, but it is so worth it to know that God has spoken over your life and you are following the will of God.
and pursue Silence.