Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

人生長遠觀點的價值──THE VALUE OF THE LONG VIEW OF LIFE

我兒子的籃球教練曾傳達一個簡單的訊息:「不要讓高中的籃球,成為你一生中最好或最糟糕的事。如果是的話,那作為教練的我們就失敗了。」換句話說-要盡情享受每一刻,然而請確保你生命中的重要意義、安全感和成功,絕對比這件事情重要:那就是只在一到三年間,在球場上跑上跑下試著將圓的球投進有網子的籃框的這件事。

長遠人生觀點對豐盛生命至關重要,下面有四個理由 :

一、擁有長遠的觀點,使我們能對失敗反應得宜。當我們了解生命不會因壞事而結束,就意識到我們能度過困境 -我們就能夠豐盛。英國首相溫斯頓·丘吉爾曾說 : 「成功不是結局,失敗也非末日,堅持努力不懈的勇氣,才是最重要的事。」如果像丘吉爾這樣,曾經面臨比大多數人更大的挑戰,都能有這樣的觀點,我們也應受到啟發,當面對每天的問題,明白只有戰勝困難才能豐盛。

二、擁有長遠的觀點,使我們能對成功反應得宜。從商業角度來看,成功比失敗更危險,因為我們會停止發展。長遠的觀點告訴我,過去的成功並不意味著我可以停止發展。更重要的是,成功持有長遠的觀點使我們能以謙卑的態度享受成功,我們意識到短暫所獲得的雖甜蜜且值得慶祝,但在整個生命中卻是微不足道的。

三、長遠的觀點,使我們能夠放鬆。對生命持有長遠的觀點,不只是能以毅力度過困難,也有助於使我們放鬆。當我們不把每一件事都與當下和瞬間反應緊緊綁在一起時,我們會變得更能接受困難。小事和不便就會變得沒有那麼重要,饒恕也變得更容易了。這對於豐盛的生命至關重要,否則我們最終會成為滿懷怨恨的老人。

四、長遠的觀點,促使我們思考自己所留下的資產。在準備演講時,我重新閱讀威廉·威伯福斯、馬丁·路德和聖依納爵..等人的事蹟。所有這些領袖都是英明領導的典範,他們無疑地都有長遠的人生觀點和舉足輕重的影響。當你離去後,你的影響力將如何延續呢?

持有長遠的觀點並不意味著當下的事情不重要。有時個人的失敗、體制上的不公義和重大的悲劇都是真實且痛苦的;它們會讓我們停下腳步並做出回應。然而,在這些時候擁有長遠的觀點,讓我們能夠說,故事還沒有結束呢。(而且我們根本不是故事的作者)

希伯來書中,作者向我們講述了亞伯拉罕偉大的信心。亞伯拉罕因著信,蒙召的時候就遵命出去,往將來要得為業的地方去;出去的時候,還不知往那裡去。他因著信,就在所應許之地作客,好像在異地居住帳棚,與那同蒙一個應許的以撒、雅各一樣。因為他等候那座有根基的城,就是神所經營所建造的。(希伯來書11章8-10節)

亞伯拉罕能夠過著多年遊移的生活,是因他相信上帝對他的生命有最好的願景和目標- 就是與造物主上帝過著永恆的生命。這個信念激發他持續往前的觀點,並堅定了他的信心。當我們將心完全交託給上帝並願意與祂同行,祂所成就的是超乎我們想像的。

耶穌基督教導我們應該只要積儹財寶在天上;天上沒有蟲子咬,不能銹壞,也沒有賊挖窟窿來偷。(馬太福音6章20節)這就是長遠的觀點。

@2023史帝芬格里夫氏博士(Dr. Stephen R. Graves)把自己描述為組織戰略家、實用神學家和社會資本家。他為高級主管、企業主以及年輕企業家提供諮詢服務。同時也是眾多書籍、文章的作者,和一位大眾演說家。他的網站是www.stephenrgraves.com

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文(因篇幅有限,請參閱未列出之經文:馬太福音6:19-22)

箴言12章11節、24節
12:11 耕種自己田地的,必得飽食;追隨虛浮的,卻是無知。
12:24 殷勤人的手必掌權;懶惰的人必服苦。
箴言21章5節
21:5 殷勤籌劃的,足致豐裕;行事急躁的,都必缺乏。
箴言24章27節、30-34節
24:27 你要在外頭預備工料,在田間辦理整齊,然後建造房屋。
24:30 我經過懶惰人的田地、無知人的葡萄園,
24:31荊棘長滿了地皮,刺草遮蓋了田面,石牆也坍塌了。
24:32我看見就留心思想;我看著就領了訓誨。
24:33再睡片時,打盹片時,抱著手躺臥片時,
24:34你的貧窮就必如強盜速來,你的缺乏彷彿拿兵器的人來到。
箴言27章18節
27:18 看守無花果樹的,必吃樹上的果子;敬奉主人的,必得尊榮。
馬太福音7章24-27節
7:24 「所以,凡聽見我這話就去行的,好比一個聰明人,把房子蓋在磐石上;
7:25  雨淋,水沖,風吹,撞著那房子,房子總不倒塌,因為根基立在磐石上。
7:26  凡聽見我這話不去行的,好比一個無知的人,把房子蓋在沙土上;
7:27  雨淋,水沖,風吹,撞著那房子,房子就倒塌了,並且倒塌得很大。」

反省與問題討論

  1. 你如何描述你對生命的觀點 – 是短期的,還是你通常能對生命、成就和失敗持有長遠的觀點呢?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 長遠的生命觀點如何使我們更有效和有益地應對失敗呢?
  3. 關於成功 – 以你的經驗,長遠的生命觀點是否也對我們所經歷的成功,會有不同的看法?請解釋你的答案。
  4. 在聖經所提到的例子中,亞伯拉罕和耶穌基督他們的言行,展現出堅定不移的信心,對我們的信仰和行為產生了永恆的影響。你是怎麼看這件事的?你有多常停下來思考,你所做的決定和行為可能會有永恆的影響嗎?


THE VALUE OF THE LONG VIEW OF LIFE

By Stephen R. Graves

My son’s basketball coach used to deliver a simple message: “Do not let high school basketball be the best thing or worst thing that has ever happened to you in your life. If it is, then we’ve failed as coaches.” In other words – enjoy every minute of it, but make sure your significance, security, and success in life is bigger than those 1-3 years running up and down a court trying to get a round ball into a netted hoop.

A long view of life is essential for a flourishing life. Here are four reasons:

   1.With the long view, we respond well to failure: When we understand that life does not end when something bad happens, we realize
   we can make it through the shadows – we can flourish. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it       is the courage to continue that counts.” If a man like Churchill, who faced greater challenges than most of us will ever encounter, could live with    such a perspective, we too should be inspired to see past everyday troubles and realize that we flourish when we overcome.

  2.With the long view, we respond well to success: From a business perspective, success can become more dangerous than failure because
  we cease to grow. The long view says past success does not release me from the need to grow. More importantly, a long view of success allows
  us to drink in success with humility, realizing that our temporal gains, though sweet and worthy of celebration, are merely a drop in the bucket of
  life.

 
  3.The long view helps us relax:
 A long view of life is not just about persevering through struggles; it also helps us relax. When everything is not
  tied up in the present and immediate reactions, we become more accepting. Small slights and inconveniences carry less weight, and forgiveness
  comes more easily. This is critical for the flourishing life. Otherwise, we end up bitter old people.

  4.The long view pushes us to think about our legacy: While preparing for a talk, I was re-reading about William Wilberforce, Martin Luther,
  and St. Ignatius Loyola, among others. All of these leaders were sterling examples of heroic leadership and undoubtedly had a long view of life
  and impact. How will your impact remain after you are gone?
Taking the long view does not mean the immediate does not matter. Personal failures, systemic injustices and major tragedies are all real and painful; they stop us in our tracks and demand a response. But taking the long view in these moments allows us to say the story is not over (and that we are not the author).

In the book of Hebrews, the writer tells us about Abraham’s great faith. “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (11:8-10).

Abraham was able to live a transient kind of life for many years because he trusted God with his future, and because he believed in an ultimate vision and goal for his life – eternal life with the Creator God. This foundation incited his forward-looking perspective and emboldened his faith. It is amazing what we can accomplish and how far we are willing to travel with hearts secured in the hand of God.

Jesus Christ taught we should “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20). That is taking the long view.

© 2023. Dr. Stephen R. Graves describes himself as an organizational strategist, pragmatic theologian, and social capitalist. He advises executives and business owners, as well as young entrepreneurs. He is author of numerous books and many articles, and a public speaker. His website is www.stephenrgraves.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. In what way would you describe your perspective on life – is it short term, or are you typically able to take a long view on your life, your accomplishments, and your failures? Explain your answer.
  2. How do you think a long view of life can enable us to cope with failure more effectively and profitably?
  3. What about success – in your experience, does a long view of life also give a different perspective on successes we experience?
  4. In the biblical examples given of Abraham and Jesus Christ, they spoke and demonstrated an unwavering confidence in the eternal impact of our faith and actions? How do you relate to this? How often do you stop to consider the potentially eternal impact of your decisions and actions you take?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 12:11,24, 21:5, 24:27,30-34, 27:18; Matthew 6:19-22, 7:24-27



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