Sometimes, the best remedy to a situation is to….

I have discussed dealing with challenging issues in many of my recent posts.  In a post last week I talked about how what appears to be a dark or challenging time is really just the next step before achieving success or gaining traction.  In another recent post I discussed how things are never as good, or as bad, as they might appear at first.  Understanding and accepting these axioms is tough and having experienced both on more than one occasion has helped me realize that life is a continuum, a journey, where things are always either up or down.  The challenge we face is not to react to strongly   to the ups or the downs, but to realize where we are and to manage our emotions and our reactions to these situations as they confront us.

This week has been a week of catching up and taking stock of where the firm is and where we are going in the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.  In going through this exercise I have also grasped quite readily how the best remedy to situations is to do nothing at all, at least initially.  I’ll expound more on this, but I think you will agree with this when I spell out what I mean.

fall mountains

Life is a series of cause and effect issues.  As human beings our expectation is to do something and then to expect a certain return or outcome.  The greatest challenges, at least for me, is to realize that I am not the one who ultimately determines what outcome will come from any given set of circumstances.  This is a painful realization and it comes with comfort only when one has faith in God.  We are taught that we are the masters of our own destiny, but this is not true, at least not completely true.  Many of you are familiar with Murphy’s law.  Murphy says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  I don’t subscribe to this, but I do subscribe to the fact that we can do everything right and get a totally unexpected outcome.  I suspect you have seen the same.  At times the outcome is much better than expected and at times it is much worse. 

Another issue to understand is that not all outcomes are immediate.  I use the Rye Grass and Asparagus analogy to discuss this.  If you plant rye grass you will get an immediate growth, but it will not be a harvest or result that lasts long.  Asparagus is a totally different matter.  If you plant asparagus, your expectation should be that you will not have an edible harvest for 2 to 3 years.  That is not something that most of us, at least as Americans, like to hear.  We are used to that immediate gratification, that instant good feeling or satisfaction.

Many of us have done what we feel is the right thing in our present work or in our quest for that new job.  We may have “dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s” and still not gotten our desired outcome.  That is to be expected.  We are not in control, but God is in control, and He knows what is the right outcome for His glory and our long term good.  God thinks in terms of asparagus, not in terms of rye grass.  How often have you had a short term craving that ended up with less than desirable results?  If you are like me than it occurs often.

Here is my suggestion about what to do when confronted with a problem or challenge:

  • Do what you can to the best of your ability
  • Pray hard for God to provide the best outcome
  • Wait….., then wait some more

This may sound trite to some of you, but I suspect that if you follow this series of events you will reflect back in time and realize that the outcome you received was the best for the long term.  I would even add prayer as the first step before you decide what to do.  God is good at giving ideas and providing instruction.  He does this all of the time.  The key question to remember is this, are you listening?

Have a great all hallows eve.