My thoughts (Ben Lamb):
I was doing the ever-so-often frettin’ and stewin’ routine about how to start a Be Still. Also, I was trying to figure out a way to deal with an unrelated situation that was going to end less-than-gloriously because of an inevitable and necessary confrontation.
Unexpectedly, my dear friend Shelldyn dropped by. I bemoaned and carried on about the mini-war about to take place. Shelldyn patiently listened with understanding nods and never sided with the enemy. (He never exactly sided with me, either, but I chose to let that fact not sink into my head.)
After my over-the-top venting session was finished, Shelldyn calmly spoke. He said the outcome that I was predicting certainly could be a problem if it materialized. (Inwardly, I was beaming with pride at knowing so much.) Then he calmly pointed out possible different outcomes to the scenario that I had painted for him. (Drat. I hate it when valued friends’ thoughts and actions don’t mirror mine. It means that my own way might not be the only way.)
Shelldyn knew exactly what he was doing, that sly man. He continued on with his plan for dealing with me. He never said that my intended course of action would probably escalate the tension. Instead, he softly and gently suggested another course of action. (Drat. I hate it when my narrow-mindedness gets pried open to a wider range of realistic possibilities. It means I might not always know the ultimate way.)
The wheels inside my little noggin began whirling away, trying to think up a logical reason as to why Shelldyn’s ideas and suggestions couldn’t work. Really though, I was needlessly trying to save face. Shelldyn had never insinuated that he’d lost any respect for me. (Drat. I hate it when I don’t figure out things like this before wasting time on an unneeded effort.)
After the “whirling noggin” pause, Shelldyn said some mildly self-deprecating things which reminded me that he really is a humble person who never tries to force his views onto others in a holier-than-thou manner. (Drat. I hate it when I forget about the sincerity that valued friends put into their talks with me.)
I was now ready to honestly admit to Shelldyn that his strategy really was a good idea and promised to give it a try. Shelldyn’s mode of framing the situation got me to later come up with a variation of his idea that I decided to try.
When waging my war later that day, armed with Shelldyn’s wise guidance, there turned out to be no friction at all. In fact, I victoriously gained a new friend and lost an enemy!
Thought for the day: For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 24:6 (NRSV)
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.