Thursday, September 06, 2007

Reaction vs. Response

As part of the management portion of our residency, we began reading the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I initially expected the book to be a bit cheesy and super-business-focused. Much to my surprise, the first two chapters (the intro and the first habit) were incredibly insightful. He addressed so much about our culture, and how we as individuals can better ourselves for the sake of society as a whole.

One of the main points (or maybe for me the most convicting point) was to be a responsive person as opposed to being a reactive person. Reactive people are at the mercy of their environment, their situation, and the world's effect on them. Responsive people take all that into account but believe they can effect change by making choices that dictate their emotions, thoughts, and actions. I'm a passionate person (do you hear the tone of excuse in my words?), so reaction is what people can usually bank on with me. That's why I'm a fun target for picking at, people find it amusing to get me riled up...and it usually doesn't take much or long for that to occur. I've never minded this; I've even learned to play off it in order to get to know people, entertain a group, etc. However, in the work setting, particularly one of high stress, it is nothing but a burden. It certainly doesn't improve or optimize workflow.

Last night I came home pondering the implications of the various points made during our book discussion. I decided to turn on the tv and found that my cable wasn't working. I just thought it was probably out in the area, no big deal. They will probably fix it soon. Later on I decided to check my internet. My whole connectivity was gone. I called Comcast; they had no sufficient answer to my dilemma and promised to send someone the next day.

After calling and venting to my mom (this whole situation for some reason pushed me past some tipping point; I'm hoping hormones were a little to blame), I decided to turn on my computer and listen to music. What better to time to optimize my itunes playlists? I was listening to a Bethany Dillon song (She's a Christian singer and her music is amazing), and my heart fell open. Seriously, I was overwhelmed with a sense of deep repentance and convictional purging. I realized it had taken God cutting me off to get me alone with Him, to get my full attention. I was broken. I missed that. It is such a cleansing experience, and I really couldn't tell you the last time I experienced it. I was thankful...for the lesson but mostly for the encounter.

Here's the gist: GOD PURSUES US...for some reason. I've never understood it fully. But He, in His infinite wisdom and love, has decided to go before us and hem us in behind. I'm never outside of His hand...but sometimes He cups His hand close against His heart.

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