工作與等待間的張力

By Robert J. Tamasy

雖然我從未遇過神秘主義者,但那似乎是個好職業。整天坐著,只需思想,偶爾說出聽起來有智慧或深奧的話。你周圍的人都壓低嗓門說話,深怕干擾了你的思路。「安靜,他正在沉思。」

當然,在21世紀的工商專業界中,沒有多少神秘主義者的容身之處。我們以行動為導向,下定決心要快速且大量產生成果。而你無法只是坐著想事情。「別光坐在那裡──做些事吧!」

這樣對嗎?「做些事,任何事,即使是錯的事!」這種作法對於最後期限、企劃和目標一定是最好的方式嗎?

對許多所謂的「A型」領袖而言,答案會是「是的」。充滿著點子、精力和決心,他們堅持讓輪子繼續轉動,愈快愈好。但經驗教導我們等待常常是一個更好的「行動」。一位以前的同事常常提出這個洞見:「為何我們一開始沒有時間做這件事,但我們卻有時間再做一次?」另一位朋友在他的辦公室貼了一張紙寫著:「你沒有盡你的本份作好計劃,不代表你有權利造成我的緊急狀況。」換句話說,若我們願意放慢腳步,把事情想清楚,我們可能會享受更多成功──以及更少錯誤。

但這個問題還有另外一面。有時,儘管我們的渴望與努力,等待還是我們的唯一選擇。我天生不是一個有耐性的人,所以覺得等待實在困難。但回顧過往,我發現等待常常是值得的。例如,有時我相信換工作已是水到渠成了,而且我覺得已準備好要立刻行動。然而,環境要求我要等待。當另一個工作機會出現,讓我驚訝的是那工作比我想像的還好。

以下是聖經教導我們有關等待的一些事:

信靠那位知道你道路的上帝。若你的旅途要經過一個危險的區域,有一個熟悉那區域的人來引導你會有幫助嗎?在生活和工作中,我們不知道前面有什麼陷阱──但上帝知道。在這種時刻,等待上帝帶領我們走上正確的路程是有幫助的。「你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路」(箴言3章5-6節)。

要知道等待不代表沒有行動。有時情況要求我們站穩,留在我們的地方。有時我們可以採取似乎適宜的步驟,但我們仍然必須信靠上帝會供應我們的需要。「你當默然倚靠耶和華,耐性等候他;不要因那道路通達的和那惡謀成就的心懷不平…你當等候耶和華,遵守他的道,他就抬舉你,使你承受地土;惡人被剪除的時候,你必看見」(詩篇37篇7、34節)。

等待的時間讓我們知道誰掌權。我們喜歡認為我們掌管自己的生命。然而,情況常常不是我們能掌控的,讓我們除了等待,別無選擇。這種時候能教導我們,上帝真的在掌權──而且祂知道祂在做什麼。「你們要休息,要知道我是 神!我必在外邦中被尊崇,在遍地上也被尊崇」(詩篇46篇10節)。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace)。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

省思/討論題目
你在工作和個人生活中,是一個行動導向的人嗎?或者與你共事的人喜歡「先行動再說」?請解釋這在你每天所追求的事務和責任中是怎樣的情況。 對我們大多數人而言,為何等待是那麼困難的事? 想想在某一個情況中,你別無選擇,只有等待,然後很高興地發現結果決對是值得等待的。對你而言,那是怎樣的經驗? 本次「週一嗎哪」所引述的聖經經文談到,等候上帝並且信靠祂的時間與決定。對於這一點,你如何回應?你真的相信上帝知道祂自己在做什麼,而且祂值得你等候祂去做出最好的事嗎?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:申命記31章6-8節;歷代志上28章20節;約書亞記1章9節;彌迦書7章7節;希伯來書13章5節

TENSION BETWEEN WORKING AND WAITING
By Robert J. Tamasy

Although I have never met a mystic, that seems like a good job to have. Sitting around all day, just thinking, occasionally coming up with something that sounds wise or profound. People around you speaking in hushed tones, fearful of disrupting your deep thought process. “Quiet, he”s contemplating.”

In the 21st century business and professional world, of course, there is little place for mystics. We are action-oriented, determined to produce results quickly and in quantity. And you cannot do that by just sitting around and thinking about things. “Don”t just sit there – do something!” No time to contemplate.

Is that right? Is the “Do something, anything, even if it”s wrong” approach to deadlines, projects and goals always the best approach?

For many so-called “Type A” leaders, the answer would be yes. Filled with ideas, energy and resolve, they insist on keeping the wheels in motion, and the faster the better. But experience teaches that waiting often is a wiser course of “action” than working. A former colleague often used to offer this insight: “Why is it that we did not have time to do this (assignment) right the first time, but we have time to do it over again?” Another friend had a sign posted in his office that stated, “Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” In other words, if we would be willing to slow down long enough to think things through, we might enjoy more successes – and suffer fewer mistakes.

But there is another side to this question. Sometimes, despite our desires and efforts, waiting is our only option. Not being a patient person by nature, I find this difficult. But in retrospect I have often found the waiting was worthwhile. For instance, there were times when I believed a career change was in order and felt ready to move forward immediately. Instead, circumstances demanded that I wait. When the next job opportunity presented itself, to my surprise it was better than anything I could have imagined.

Here are some of the things the Bible has taught me about waiting:

Trust in the One that knows the way.
If you were making a trip through dangerous territory, would it help being guided by someone very familiar with the area? In life and work, we do not know what pitfalls lie ahead – but God does. At such times it helps to wait until He is ready to put us on the right course. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Recognize that waiting does not mean inaction. Sometimes situations require us to hold our ground, remaining where we are. Other times we can take steps that seem appropriate, but still must trust God to provide what we need. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes…. Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it” (Psalm 37:7, 34).

Understand that times of waiting teach us who is in control. We like to believe we are in control of our lives. However, often circumstances are far beyond our control, leaving us no choice but to wait. These times can teach us God is truly in control – and knows exactly what He is doing. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Are you an action-oriented person, at work and in your personal life, or do you work with people that favor an “act now, wait later” approach? Explain what this looks like in your daily pursuits and responsibilities. Why do you think waiting is such a difficult things for most of us to do? Think of a situation in which you had no choice but to wait, and then were pleased to discover the outcome of the situation was definitely worth the wait. What was that experience like for you? The Bible passages cited in this “Monday Manna” talk about waiting on God and trusting in His timing and direction. How do you respond to this? Do you truly believe God knows what He is doing, and that He deserves your willingness to wait for Him to do what is best?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Deuteronomy 31:6-8; 1 Chronicles 28:20; Joshua 1:9; Micah 7:7; Hebrews 13:5

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