勝利的成份

By Jim Lange

生活中──尤其是在工商專業界中──若有一個明白的公理,那就是「事情就發生了」,沒有明顯的原因、你也無法解釋,事情就這麼發生了。
你盡了極大的努力正準備完成一筆重大的交易,但生意突然就落空了。 沒有任何預警,或任何可理解的原因,你就失去一個大客戶。 你沒有得到你期待已久的升遷──或者你確實得到升遷,但不是你所希望的那個職位。 一位重要的幹部突然辭職並去為你的競爭者工作,而你已投資許多時間與金錢訓練他。當這類的事發生時,我們常常想:「我到底做了什麼而得到這種結果?」或甚至「為何上帝要這麼對待我?」有時我們永遠得不到滿意的解釋。然而,有時我們確實得到解釋我們疑問的答案。以下的故事提供我們一個很棒的說明:

一個女兒告訴母親,她生活的每件事都不順利,她的數學考砸了、男朋友與她分手、她最好的朋友要搬家了。似乎她的整個世界都垮下來了。

當女兒說著她苦惱的故事,母親正在烤蛋糕。母親就停下來打斷她的女兒,問她是否想吃個點心。女兒回答道:「媽,那是一定的,你知道我最愛吃你烤的蛋糕!」

她媽媽就說:「那好,喝些食用油吧。」同時把油瓶遞給女兒。「好悪心!」女兒喊道。

「要不要吃幾個生雞蛋?」母親一邊問一邊把雞蛋拿給她。「不要,媽,那太可怕了!」

「那麼你要不要吃些麵粉?或者小蘇打?」母親問道。

「媽媽,你為什麼問我要不要吃這些?這些吃起來都很可怕!」

這時媽媽回答:「是的,這些東西看起來都不好吃,但當它們被用正確的方式放在一起,就會變成美味的蛋糕。而且若你忘了放其中一種成份,結果就會不好吃。」

母親繼續說道:「上帝也用同樣的方式工作。許多時候我們想不透祂為何讓我們經歷這麼痛苦且困難的時刻。但祂知道祂把這些事放在一起,按照祂全知完備的順序,那些事一定會為我們帶來益處!我們只需要信靠祂--最後那些事會變成對我們美好的事!」

這就是為何聖經能給我們這應許:「我們曉得萬事都互相效力,叫愛神的人得益處,就是按他旨意被召的人」(羅馬書8章28節)。

吉姆.蘭紀是「工作真理協會[email protected]」 (www.christianroundtablegroups.com)的分會會長,這是一個職場人士的事工。他定期在部落格www.5feet20.com上寫作,他也寫了一本書「流血的領袖:給領袖的聖經急救箱 Bleedership: Biblical First-Aid for Leaders」他與家人住在美國俄亥俄州的Toledo市附近。

思想 / 討論題目
你曾否因意外的挫折而感到困惑,當事情不照你希望的方式發生,或不按預期的方式發生,這時候你一向如何回應? 當這類的事情發生時,你是否像作者一樣問這些問題:「我到底做了什麼而得到這種結果?」或甚至「為何上帝要讓這事發生?」請解釋。 文中烤蛋糕的故事說明每一個分開的成份並不好吃,但把它們組合起來就是令人滿意的美味。你對這故事有何看法?這比喻是否與你在職場所經歷的情況類似? 聖經羅馬書8章28節說:「我們曉得萬事都互相效力,叫愛神的人得益處,就是按他旨意被召的人。」你對這節經文有何看法?你相信這經文能以實際的方式應用在今日的職場中嗎?為什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
約書亞記1章6-9節;以賽亞書26章3節,40章31節,41章10節,55章8-11節;耶利米29:11;腓立比書4章19節

INGREDIENTS FOR A WINNING RECIPE

By Jim Lange

If there is one truism in life – and especially the business and professional world – it is that “stuff happens,” things transpire for no apparent reason, things you cannot explain.

• An important sale you were expecting to close after extraordinary effort suddenly falls through.
• You lose a major client, without warning or understandable cause.
• You do not receive the promotion you had been expecting to get – or you do get the promotion, but it fails to turn out as you had hoped or anticipated.
• A key staff person suddenly resigns and goes to a competitor, after you had invested much time and money in training that individual.

When things like this take place, we often wonder, “What did I do to deserve this?” or even, “Why did God have to do this to me?” Sometimes we will never gain a satisfactory explanation. Other times, however, we do receive an answer to our “why” question. The following story provides a wonderful illustration:

A daughter was telling her mother about how everything in her life seemed to be going wrong, that she was failing her math class, her boyfriend had broken up with her, and her best friend was moving away. Her entire world seemed to be crashing down.

As the daughter was expressing her tale of woe, her mother was baking a cake. Pausing from her activity, she interrupted her daughter to ask if she would like a snack. The daughter responded, “Absolutely Mom, you know how much I love your cake!”

“All right, here, have some cooking oil,” her mother said, reaching the bottle of oil toward her daughter. “Yuck!” said the daughter.

“How would you like a couple raw eggs?” the mother asked, holding them out toward her. “No, Mom – that would be terrible!”

“Would you like to eat some flour then?” the mother inquired. “Or maybe baking soda?”

“Mother, why are you asking me that? All of those would be awful to eat!”

At that point the mother replied: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake. And if you forget to include even one ingredient, the result will not be very good.

“God works the same way,” the mother continued. “Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all together, in His perfect, all-knowing order, they always bring about an outcome for our good! We just have to trust Him – and eventually they all will combine to make something wonderful!”

This is why the Bible can give us this promise: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, those that have been called according to his purpose“
 (Romans 8:28).

© 2011 by Jim Lange. Jim is a chapter president with [email protected] (www.christianroundtablegroups.com), a ministry to people in the workplace. He writes a regular online blog, www.5feet20.com, and is the author of a book, Bleedership: Biblical First-Aid for Leaders. He and his family live near Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Do you ever find yourself perplexed by unexpected setbacks, when things do not happen as you had hoped or anticipated they would? At such times, how do you typically respond? When such things come about, do you ask questions such as Jim Lange suggests – “What did I do to deserve this?” or, “Why did God let this happen?” Explain your answer. What is your reaction to the illustration about baking a cake – that by themselves, the separate ingredients are not very appetizing, but together they have a very tasty, satisfying result? Does this analogy relate to situations you have experienced in the workplace? The Bible passage, Romans 8:28, is presented that states, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” What is your reaction to this? Do you believe it can be applied to today”s workplace in a practical way? Why or why not?NOTE: If you have a Bible, consider these other passages that relate to this topic:
Joshua 1:6-9; Isaiah 26:3, 40:31, 41:10, 55:8-11; Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 4:19

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