等待:沒有人喜歡運用的「策略」──WAITING THE GAME NO ONE LIKES TO PLAY

By Rick Boxx

很多人發現自己每天都在所謂的枯燥繁瑣事務中來回奔波,瘋狂地衝向另一場會議或下一個截止日期,因為害怕失敗或錯過一些千載難逢的機會而拒絕放慢速度。耐心不是我們努力培養的美德。如果我們停下來等待,就開始害怕這個快節奏的世界會不斷往前,把我們遠遠甩在後面。

人們把「等待」稱為一種伺機而動的「策略」,但是絕大多數人都覺得完全無法享受其中。無論想要的東西是甚麼,我們都想馬上得到。

不久前我遇到一位成功的商界領導人,他承認了這一點。他告訴我,對他來說最困難的事情之一就是「等候上帝」。即便他已經認清自己,準備好往職業生涯的下一階段邁進,但上帝尚未開路,所以,他發現自己還在上帝的「等候室」中。

許多以目標為導向的企業領袖,會掙扎於耐心等待上帝的方向,寧願自己向前衝。背後的原因其實是很複雜的。因為當我們被迫等待時,會感覺失去主導權,任環境擺佈。行動派的人就會認為等待——從緊鑼密鼓的活動中暫停——非常浪費時間和精力。

但是,我們以商業和專業人士的角度重新思考聖經中提出的原則時,就會發現上帝一些最偉大的工作,常常發生在祂吩咐祂的子民等待之後。

例如,我們在使徒行傳16章中讀到使徒保羅和他的同伴被禁止進入一個他們看起來應該要去的地方:到了每西亞的邊界,他們想要往庇推尼去,耶穌的靈卻不許。」(使徒行傳16章7節)他們當時一定很懷疑為什麼,因為他們知道那個地區的人非常需要聽見他們很渴望分享的福音。

事實上,保羅的計劃中斷過兩次。但是,後來他明白了延誤的原因。而因著等待主和祂的時機,保羅最終能在馬其頓建立一個充滿活力的教會。事實證明,上帝的意念高過我們的意念。

在以色列國王大衛寫的詩篇第37篇中,我們可以讀到一段充滿動詞的經文:「你當倚靠耶和華……」「又要以耶和華為樂……」「當將你的事交託耶和華,並倚靠他……」這些是我們喜歡聽的話——我們能做的事。但後來我們又讀到:「你當默然倚靠耶和華,耐性等候他」。(詩篇37篇7節)第34節則寫著:「等候耶和華,遵守他的道。」

當我們讀到這些經文的時候,會很想回答說:「什麼?等待?為什麼我們不能繼續前進?還有很多工作要做!」我們經常在事後回顧時,發現上帝的計畫和時間與我們心中的想法不同——而且更為美好。當你覺得被上帝攔阻時,請記住祂知道世界的開始和結束,我們的天父總是知道什麼是最好的。

版權所有2019  非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和Rick Boxx的純全時刻,這本刊物主要是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每日純全時刻,請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx 最新出版的書提供用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業

反省與問題討論

  1. 你擅長等待嗎?遇到意外且非預期的延宕時,你通常會有什麼反應?
  2. 你認為為什麼對多數人來說,等待是如此困難?
  3. 回想一下,以前你是否有這樣的經驗:別無選擇只能等待,後來卻發現延遲其實帶來了更好的結果?請描述這種情況以及你當時如何反應,包含你一開始需要等待的反應,以及之後明白等待才是你所能做最好的事的反應。
  4. 當你沒有別的選擇,只能被迫等待,沒有按照自己的意思向前進時,你通常會意識到這個「伺機而動的策略」是上帝的工,祂意念的結果嗎?請分享你的答案。

備註:如果你手上有聖經並希望閱讀更多和這個主題相關的信息,請參考下面的經文(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: 列王記上19章1-18節)

詩篇40篇1-5節

40:1 我曾耐性等候耶和華;他垂聽我的呼求。

40:2 他從禍坑裏,從淤泥中,把我拉上來,使我的腳立在磐石上,使我腳步穩當。

40:3 他使我口唱新歌,就是讚美我們 神的話。許多人必看見而懼怕,並要倚靠耶和華。

40:4 那倚靠耶和華、不理會狂傲和偏向虛假之輩的,這人便為有福!

40:5 耶和華─我的 神啊,你所行的奇事,並你向我們所懷的意念甚多,不能向你陳明。若要陳明,其事不可勝數。

詩篇40篇10節

40:10 我未曾把你的公義藏在心裏;我已陳明你的信實和你的救恩;我在大會中未曾隱瞞你的慈愛和誠實。

詩篇62篇5節

62:5 我的心哪,你當默默無聲,專等候 神,因為我的盼望是從他而來。

詩篇123篇1-2節

123:1 坐在天上的主啊,我向你舉目。

123:2 看哪,僕人的眼睛怎樣望主人的手,使女的眼睛怎樣望主母的手,我們的眼睛也照樣望耶和華─我們的 神,直到他憐憫我們。

以賽亞書40章27-31節

40:27 雅各啊,你為何說,我的道路向耶和華隱藏?以色列啊,你為何言,我的冤屈 神並不查問?

40:28 你豈不曾知道嗎?你豈不曾聽見嗎?永在的 神耶和華,創造地極的主,並不疲乏,也不困倦;他的智慧無法測度。

40:29 疲乏的,他賜能力;軟弱的,他加力量。

40:30 就是少年人也要疲乏困倦;強壯的也必全然跌倒。

40:31 但那等候耶和華的必重新得力。他們必如鷹展翅上騰;他們奔跑卻不困倦,行走卻不疲乏。

耶利米哀歌3章25-29節

3:25 凡等候耶和華,心裏尋求他的,耶和華必施恩給他。

3:26 人仰望耶和華,靜默等候他的救恩,這原是好的。

3:27 人在幼年負軛,這原是好的。

3:28 他當獨坐無言,因為這是耶和華加在他身上的。

3:29 他當口貼塵埃,或者有指望。


WAITING: THE ‘GAME’ NO ONE LIKES TO PLAY

By Rick Boxx

Many of us find ourselves each day on the proverbial treadmill, frantically rushing to another appointment or the next deadline, refusing to slow down for fear of failing or missing out on some once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Patience is not a virtue we strive to nurture. If we wait, we suspect this fast-paced world will still keep moving, leaving us far behind.

People talk about the “waiting game,” but it is a “game” the vast majority of us find no pleasure in playing. We want what we want – and we want it now. Whatever “it” happens to be.

Some time ago I met with a successful business leader who admitted this. He told me that one of the hardest things for him is to “wait on the Lord.” Finding himself in a time of transition, he felt ready to move forward with the next stage of his career, but God would not release him yet. So, he found himself in God’s “waiting room.”

Driven, goal-focused business leaders often struggle with waiting patiently on God’s direction, preferring to charge forward on their own. There are many reasons for this. When forced to wait, we feel no longer in control, like we are at the mercy of circumstances as they unfold. We are action-oriented and think that waiting – pausing from frenetic activity – is a terrible waste of time and energy.

However, as we consider principles presented in the Bible from our perspectives as business and professional people, we discover that some of God’s greatest work occurs after He has commanded His people to wait.

For instance, we read in Acts 16 a time when the apostle Paul and his companions were prohibited from going into an area that seemed very reasonable for them to enter: “When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to” (Acts 16:7). They must of wondered why, knowing the people in the region needed to hear the Good News they were so eager to present.

In fact, Paul was stopped twice from moving forward with his plan. However, he later learned the reason for the delay. By waiting on the Lord and His timing, Paul eventually was able to launch a vibrant church in Macedonia instead. God, it turned out, had a better idea.

In Psalm 37, written by King David of Israel, we read passages filled with action verbs: “Trust in the Lord….” “Delight yourself in the Lord….” “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him….” Those are words we like to hear – things we can do. But then we read, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7). In verse 34 of the same psalm we read, “Wait for the Lord and keep his way.”

When we read such instructions, we want to respond, “What? Wait? Why can’t we just keep moving? There is so much to do!” Often, we discover in retrospect that God’s plans and His timing are different – and superior – to what we had in mind. When you are feeling stifled by God, remember that He knows the beginning and the end. And our heavenly Father always knows what is best.

Copyright 2019, Unconventional Business Network Adapted with permission from “Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx,” a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more or to sign up for Rick’s daily Integrity Moments emails, visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. His latest book, Unconventional Business, provides “Five Keys to Growing a Business God’s Way.”

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How good are you at waiting? What is your typical reaction when confronted with an unexpected and undesired delay?
  2. Why do you think waiting is so difficult for most of us?
  3. Think of a time when you had no alternative but to wait – and discovered later that the delay actually resulted in a much better outcome. Describe that situation and how you responded – first, when you had to wait, and then when you realized that waiting was the best thing that you could have done.
  4. When you run out of options, forced to wait rather than moving forward as you had intended, do you typically recognize that the “waiting game” is of God’s doing, a result of His intentions? Why or why not?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: 1 Kings 19:1-18; Psalm 40:1-5, 46:10, 62:5, 123:1-2; Isaiah 40:27-31; Lamentations 3:25-29

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