In the course of the last 51 years of my life, there’s a lot of helpful ‘stuff that I’ve picked up along the way’ that informs most (if not all) of the decisions, priorities, values, & other things that help make me, me. On top of that, I can guarantee you that 99.9% of the time I’ve given out good, wise, helpful, &/or encouraging advice to a friend who has asked for it, that information has come from (at least one) other source(s), & didn’t originate with me. (Ever heard the saying, “There is nothing new under the sun,” ? It comes from the Bible book of Ecclesiastes &, among other things, it speaks to the fact that wisdom, truth, insight, knowledge, etc has been around for years & was thought of (& shared) by others. This fact reminds us of many things, including:
- no one person has a corner on wisdom, truth, insight, etc
- we can ALL learn from many others’ experiences, insights, & perspectives
- a person can sound SUPER smart & insightful simply by sharing things that they’ve been humble & teachable enough to learn from others…
I’ve picked up a lot of stuff over the years & I am thankful to each person who has (knowingly or unknowingly) contributed to my knowledge/experience bank. I thought it might be fun over the next several blogs to share some of that ‘stuff’ in the hopes that it can be a help to you also at some point. No pressure. It’s not like I want to be a guru or a person’s sole point of input or advice-for-life… I do, however, want to pass on that which I have found to be personally helpful – to share the stuff that I’ve accumulated in my proverbial back-pack of life experiences.
STUFF #1 – IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR SAY, LIMIT YOUR ACTIONS &/OR YOUR WORDS.
“If you don’t know what to do or say, limit your actions &/or your words.” – Jerry Cook
This one has come in handy countless times… I know it’s not just me that feels the pressure to ACT, to RESPOND, to DO something (anything?) in a particular situation they’re facing. Inactivity makes one feel powerless, impotent, & ineffective, & this is especially true when one functions in the role of ‘leader’ (in whatever capacity). In that space, others often look to you like you’re SUPPOSED to know what to do when the stuff hits the proverbial fan… like somehow there HAS to be some response, something that MUST be done, & somehow YOU know what it is.
But sometimes you don’t (or at least I don’t.) And that is 100% ok.
After hearing Jerry share this gem, I felt free & liberated from chains that I’d had no idea I didn’t have to carry around with me. In talking to him about it more in-depth, he said something along these lines:
“I’m living & functioning from the premise that the Holy Spirit will speak to me to direct me towards the actions & words that need to be undertaken in a particular situation. And if He doesn’t give me anything, I’m going to trust that means that I’m to limit my actions & words UNTIL He does. Jesus ONLY did what He saw/heard His Father in heaven doing. He’s our Father too, & He & the Spirit will lead us & guide us in godly responses, IF & WHEN they’re warranted for the situation at hand.”
I have embraced this truth myself for my life & areas I lead – & instead of giving in to the pressure to attempt to manufacture words/activities out of my own head & heart, I trust that the Holy Spirit WILL definitely direct me in the moment to the words & actions I’m to take.
For what it’s worth.