面對人生的變化球

By:Robert J. Tamasy

1950以前,棒球幾乎是美國唯一的運動,當時甚至被稱為全國性的休閒娛樂活動。但在第二次世界大戰之後,棒球運動變成一個全球性的運動。美國大兵駐紮在日本和韓國時,把這項運動帶到當地,這股棒球熱之後又傳到了拉丁美洲、歐洲等地。今天棒球已經成為很多風行全世界的運動了!

為什麼我要把「棒球」這個主題放進週一嗎哪?因為棒球有一個特別的地方,那就是很多球員無法勝過的障礙:可怕的變化球。無法駕馭變化球的打擊者沒有辦法成為職業球員,即便他們成為職業球員也很快就消失了。

我不太打棒球,但是一個朋友這樣跟我解釋:變化球總是在到達打擊者的壘包時才轉彎。當變化球來的時候,大部分的打者都會一直專注在他們認為會打到球的地方,而不是球本身,所以最後他們根本就沒有打到球。

也許你沒有打過棒球,但你可能經歷過類似的問題。我們的生活、職場,常常丟給我們變化球: 例如一個出其不意的變化搞得我們的原本的計畫天翻地覆、或是一個重要的客戶決定跟別人做生意、我們原本期待的升遷機會給了別人、一個劇烈的經濟變化讓銷售暴跌,讓你的公司掙扎在生存的邊緣、或是你的老闆也許決定要大大更改你投入多時的計畫等等。

類似的事情也可能發生在你個人的生活當中:也許是你接到的一個電話告訴你家裡發生重大的危機、一個昂貴的設備或是車子壞掉,打亂你的財務計畫、或是你的親人被診斷出有重大的疾病等等。

重點是:你如何接這個變化球?我們在第一時間是慌張退縮,期望危機可以離開?還是用一個更積極正面的方式回應?以下是聖經告訴我們幾個去面對生命中的變化球的原則:

第一、你也許沒有準備好,但是有神已經準備好了。你不知道生活裡下一步會發生甚麼事情,但是聖經說: 「耶和華說:我知道我向你們所懷的意念是賜平安的意念,不是降災禍的意念,要叫你們末後有指望。」(耶利米書29章11節)

第二、你不用一個人獨自面對這一切。神應許當我們面對不確定或是即將發生的危難時,我們不需要用害怕來反應,因為祂會與我們同行。「你不要害怕,因為我與你同在;不要驚惶,因為我是你的 神。我必堅固你,我必幫助你;我必用我公義的右手扶持你。」(以賽亞書41章10節)

第三、你會發現突然的轉變是一個祝福而不是一個詛咒。當我們精心的計畫不能如期實現的時候,我們可以用挫折、憤怒或是絕望來回應。但是通常修正或改變後的計畫常常成為我們需要的計畫。「人心籌算自己的道路;惟耶和華指引他的腳步。」(箴言16章9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
你是否在打棒球的時候遇過變化球?或是在生活中有過類似的經驗?描述一下這些經驗。 在你的生活或是職場上每天要面對的「變化球」有哪些?你如何去面對和處理他們?你現在是否正在經歷這樣的狀況? 當一些預期外的狀況發生時,你最常用的回應方式是甚麼? 當你在處理突如其來的、計畫外的或是很糟糕的狀況時,知道神想要積極地和你一起處理是否帶給你安慰和安全感?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看: 箴言3章5-6節、16章3-4節;以賽亞書26章3節;馬太福音6章25-34節、11章28-30節、28章20節;約翰一書4章18節

HANDLING THE “DREADED CURVEBALL”
By Robert J. Tamasy

Prior to the 1950s, baseball was an almost exclusively American sport. It was often referred to as “the national pastime.” Following World War II, however, baseball became an export. American soldiers stationed in Japan and Korea introduced the sport there, enthusiasm for it spread into Latin America and parts of Europe, and today the game is played in many countries around the world.

The reason for bringing this subject into “Monday Manna” is one unique aspect to the sport, an obstacle that keeps many players from excelling: the “dreaded, late-breaking curveball.” Batters unable to master hitting this curveball either fail to reach the top professional level or, once they get there, soon disappear.

I never played much baseball, but a friend who did explains it this way: “It curves right about the time it gets to home plate. Most hitters” eyes are focused on where they think they are going to hit the ball – and not on the ball itself.” As a result, instead of hitting the baseball where they intend, they fail to hit it at all.

Even if you have never played an inning of baseball, you have experienced this problem in other ways. Life, and the workplace, can throw us “curveballs” at times – instant, unexpected developments that turn our plans upside-down. An important customer may decide to take business elsewhere. An anticipated promotion might be awarded to someone else. A drastic economic shift could send sales plummeting, leaving your company scurrying to survive. Your boss might decide to make major changes to a project on which you have invested many hours and much energy for weeks.

Similar things can happen in our personal lives: You receive a phone call about a family crisis that has just emerged. An expensive appliance or your car breaks down, throwing your budget into turmoil. Someone close to you receives a serious health diagnosis.

The question becomes, “How will we handle this “curveball”?” When our first impulse is to panic – or to cower until the crisis hopefully subsides – how should we respond in a productive manner? The Bible offers numerous principles for handling the curveballs life throws at us. Here are just a few:

You might not be prepared, but Someone is. We cannot know what problems lurk around the next corner, or will confront us tomorrow, but God does. “”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future“” (Jeremiah 29:11).

You do not have to face the unexpected alone. God promises when we are faced with uncertainty or impending calamity, we need not respond in fear. He will walk through the situation with us. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

You may discover the sudden change of plans is a blessing rather than a curse. When well-conceived plans fail to work out as expected, we can respond in frustration, anger or despair. Often, however, modified plans or a total change in direction will prove to be exactly what we needed. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

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
Have you ever played baseball at any level and experienced “the dreaded late-breaking curveball,” or encountered something similar in another sport? If so, describe what that was like for you. What are some of the “curveballs” you have faced in everyday life, or in the workplace? Are you dealing with anything like that right now? When such unexpected developments occur, what has been your typical way of responding to them? Does it give you any comfort or reassurance to know God wants to be actively involved with you in handling sudden and unplanned changes or adverse circumstances? Why or why not? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Proverbs 3:5-6, 16:3-4; Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 6:25-34, 28:20, 11:28-30; 1 John 4:18

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