在職場與生活中逆勢反轉 ──BOUNCING BACK – IN BUSINESS AND IN LIFE

MONDAY MANNA

我從19歲起就開始打高爾夫球,記得在沒有任何指導下,我在德克薩斯A&M大學高爾夫球場打過我的第一個9洞。那時我就發現再有經驗的運動員,在第一次打高爾夫球前也要接受一些指導!

到現在為止高爾夫是我試過最困難、也是下定決心要做好的運動。我不記得自己的第一次birdie(少標準桿一桿),但我記得自己第一次eagle(少標準竿二桿)是在布雷肯里奇公園高爾夫球場(Breckenridge Park Golf Course),這是德克薩斯州聖安東尼奧公開賽的長期場地。我記得當時所有的細節。

打高爾夫最主要的挑戰之一是在前一個洞高於標準桿(over par)時有「反轉」能力(bounce back)。我們經常聽到電視高爾夫播音員談論球員在bogey(高於標準桿一桿)打出birdie(少於標準桿一桿)。近年來隨著年齡的增長,我的反轉能力減低了,常是在連續幾個bogey之後才反轉獲得標準桿。但是我還是喜歡高爾夫,所以反轉時我還是很興奮。

我們不一定都在打高爾夫球,但就算我們沒有去過高爾夫俱樂部,也知道反轉能力的重要。過去30多年,我在企業中經歷過這種狀況,或許我們所有的人都經歷過。例如我們對面試的新工作充滿期待,但對方卻僱用其他人;或者我們努力多年,滿心期待升遷,但升遷的卻是另一位同事;又或者我們投入大量時間經營重要的客戶,對彼此的大宗交易信心滿滿,但最後他們卻選擇我們的競爭對手。

在個人的生活裡也需要從低谷反轉的心態。無論是遇到健康、財務或家庭內部的困難,或是花費大筆金錢的突發情況時,能從逆境中反轉是很重要的。不容易,但是事實證明這樣的狀況令人難忘且意義重大,是我們學習堅持下去的重要功課。如果我們採取消極的立場不去面對,很可能就會陷入困境。

研讀聖經的教導並應用到職場的機會和困境時,我們發現耶穌基督的早期信徒有很多從逆境和艱難中反轉的知識可讓我們借鏡。在耶穌早期服事時,最親近祂的門徒在日常生活經歷許多考驗,他們大部分犧牲了自己的生命,但信仰讓他們能夠為基督堅持到最後一口氣。

保羅給在腓立比初代教會的信中說了一個經典的例子。他寫道:照著我所切慕、所盼望的,沒有一事叫我羞愧。只要凡事放膽,無論是生是死,總叫基督在我身上照常顯大。因我活著就是基督,我死了就有益處。但我在肉身活著,若成就我工夫的果子,我就不知道該挑選甚麼。我正在兩難之間,情願離世與基督同在,因為這是好得無比的。 然而,我在肉身活著,為你們更是要緊的。(腓立比書120-24

我相信這就是上帝對我們的期待。祂要找的忠實門徒不一定要犧牲生命,但要願意把祂和其他人放在自己的需要之前。祂希望我們能從屬靈敵人給我們的任何打擊中逆勢反轉,並堅持忠實到最後。

Jim Langley從事人壽健康保險業已經超過30年了。最近幾年,他熱心於將自己與神的關係書 寫出來,目的是要鼓勵其他人更加親近神。他也是CBMC的長期會員,在2014年時,他開始寫作「四分衛策略」(Fourth Quarter Strategies)。

反省與問題討論

  1. 文中所提,高爾夫球或其他運動中從劣勢中扳回一成的「反轉能力」能否引起你的共 鳴?要忽略高爾夫球場上打壞的一球、網球場中的失誤,或甚至是桌上遊戲下錯的一 步,為了下一次機會「逆勢反轉」,是一件容易的事嗎?
  2. 你在職場上經歷過這種狀況嗎?當你所期待的無法實現,或努力的目標無法達成時,你通常會如何反應?
  3. 「堅持下去」的信念能如何幫助你像作者所說的那樣,讓你從工作中的各種逆境或日常生活的現實中「逆勢反轉」?
  4. 你認為在職場上遇到困難和失望的時候,對上帝的信心是否會在我們努力反轉時起重要的作用?為什麼?如果是的話,上帝是用什麼方式幫助你?

備註:如果你希望閱讀更多與這個主題相關的聖經經文,請參考(因經文較長,考慮到篇幅和新舊約經文,您可以參閱下列未列出的經文: 羅馬書8:35-39、雅各書1章2-4節)

約翰福音16章32-33節
16:32看哪,時候將到,且是已經到了,你們要分散,各歸自己的地方去,留下我獨自一人;其實我不是獨自一人,因為有父與我同在。
16:33我將這些事告訴你們,是要叫你們在我裏面有平安。在世上,你們有苦難;但你們可以放心,我已經勝了世界。」

羅馬書8章28節
8:28 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。

哥林多前書4章10-13節
4:10 我們為基督的緣故算是愚拙的,你們在基督裏倒是聰明的;我們軟弱,你們倒強壯;你們有榮耀,我們倒被藐視。
4:11 直到如今,我們還是又飢又渴,又赤身露體,又挨打,又沒有一定的住處,
4:12 並且勞苦,親手做工。被人咒罵,我們就祝福;被人逼迫,我們就忍受;
4:13 被人毀謗,我們就善勸。直到如今,人還把我們看作世界上的污穢,萬物中的渣滓。

哥林多後書4章7-12節
4:7 我們有這寶貝放在瓦器裏,要顯明這莫大的能力是出於 神,不是出於我們。
4:8 我們四面受敵,卻不被困住;心裏作難,卻不至失望;
4:9 遭逼迫,卻不被丟棄;打倒了,卻不至死亡。
4:10 身上常帶著耶穌的死,使耶穌的生也顯明在我們身上。
4:11 因為我們這活著的人是常為耶穌被交於死地,使耶穌的生在我們這必死的身上顯明出來。
4:12 這樣看來,死是在我們身上發動,生卻在你們身上發動。


BOUNCING BACK – IN BUSINESS AND IN LIFE

By Jim Langley

I have been playing the game of golf since I was 19 and still remember playing my first nine holes on the Texas A&M University golf course without any prior golf instruction. Even skilled athletes would be wise to get some instruction before playing a round of golf for the first time. As I discovered!

Golf was by far the most difficult sport I had ever attempted and was determined to do it well. I do not remember my first birdie, but do recall my first eagle – at Breckenridge Park Golf Course, the long-time site of the Texas Open in San Antonio. I can remember every detail.

One of the major challenges in golf is to “bounce back” from shooting over par on the previous hole. We often hear TV golf announcers talk about players bouncing back from a bogey (one over par) when they get a birdie (one under par) on the next hole. These days, bounce backs for me are more along the line of getting a par after several bogeys in a row, since my golf game has suffered with age. Because I still love the game, bouncing back still provides feelings of exhilaration.

We might not all be golfers, but can all appreciate the need for bouncing back – even if we never pick up a golf club. I have experienced this in business over the past 30-plus years; it is likely we all have. We interview for a job with great anticipation, but someone else is hired. After years of hard work, we think a much desired promotion is deserved, but a colleague is chosen instead. We invest many hours in cultivating an important client, confident of making a major sale, but a competitor is selected instead.

Personal life experiences also require a bounce-back mentality. Whether it is a health crisis or financial struggles, difficulties within the family or unexpected and costly emergencies, we all learn the importance of being able to bounce back from adversity. It has not always been easy, but occasions like these have proved to be both memorable and significant for me, important lessons in learning how to persevere. Especially if we have done nothing to deserve the negative position in which we may well find ourselves.

As we read the Bible to apply its teachings to the everyday opportunities and struggles of the marketplace, we discover the early followers of Jesus Christ learned much about how to bounce back from adversity and hardship. Jesus’ disciples – those closest to Him during his earthly ministry – went through many trials. Most of them died as martyrs, and yet their faith enabled them to persevere for Christ until their last breath.

We find a classic example in the words of Paul in his letter to the ancient church in Philippi. He wrote, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two; I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:20-24).

This is what I believe God desires from us. He is not necessarily looking for martyrs, but for devoted followers willing to place Him and others ahead of their own needs. He wants us to bounce back from whatever negative developments our spiritual enemy throws at us and remain faithful to the very end.

© 2019, all rights reserved. Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Can you relate to this description of having to “bounce back” from a poor performance in golf, or another sport? How easy has it been for you to disregard the bad hole, the mistake on the tennis court, or even an ill-advised move on a board game, to bounce back for the next opportunity?
  2. How about your experiences at work? How do you typically respond when your hopes or expectations are not met, or goals you have worked hard to achieve are not attained?
  3. What is the role of perseverance in being able to bounce back, as Mr. Langley calls it, from various forms of adversity at work – or in the everyday realities of life?
  4. Do you think faith in God should play an important role in our trying to bounce back when times of hardship and disappointment come, especially in the workplace? Why or why not? If so, in what ways?

NOTE: For more about what the Bible says, consider the following passages:

   John 16:32-33; Romans 8:28,35-39; 1 Corinthians 4:10-13; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; James 1:2-4

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