I hope each of you had an amazing weekend. This past weekend I had an afternoon where I was faced with something I haven’t had to deal with in a while…Myself. Yes, I know, many of you do not know me and others that do are maybe asking…huh? Let me start by asking each of you a question. Do you ever have those moments where uncertainty and a feeling of “not knowing” can plague you?
I personally am a “mission” driven type individual. I wake up each day with a sense of what is my purpose and how can I effectively tackle the business of that day. I stay busy and this can create a paradox in my life. As I stay busy, I sometimes find myself wanting rest and a moment to pause. However, when this “pause” comes and I am not prepared for it I seem to be thrown into a tailspin, if you will. I know this may seem foreign to some of you, but when the feeling of not having a plan or unsure of what to do sneaks up on me it causes me to feel uncomfortable. Does this make sense? Do you have something in your life that causes you to feel uncomfortable? Something you wrestle with? I want to encourage each of you that you are not alone in this. No matter what the feeling or situation in your life which pushes you into the realm of uncomfortable is, I want to encourage you.
I want to encourage you first and foremost you are not alone in your struggles. You are not the only one dealing with things that you might feel, if others knew about, they might see you as less. I know for me when I feel uncertain or unsure of the plan, I struggle with feelings of self-doubt, frustration with myself and other emotions which are unhealthy. However, I am learning to recognize it as it comes. For most of my life I have always been in positions of leadership. I try to be a consummate student of the discipline of leadership. As a result, when the feelings of not sure what to do come…I feel less as a leader. Is there something in your life that causes you to be uncomfortable?
For some it may be work related such as a customer that you cannot seem to please no matter how hard you work. Or when something simply goes wrong and you feel as if you have prepared for it so diligently and yet…it is still there. Or maybe something in the personal realm of your life. A relationship you just cannot seem to get right…the struggle can seem overwhelming. Uncomfortable.
I further want to encourage you with a quick story of a man. Many of you have maybe heard the old hymn, “It is well with my soul”. Do you know the story behind those iconic words?
The man we are talking about is Horatio Spafford. Horatio was a lawyer, a good one, and had invested heavily in real estate in the city of Chicago. Mr. Spafford had, by all measures of success, made it according to the times in which he lived. Many of us only see what we are trained to see. The successful lawyer, the real estate tycoon and the beautiful family. What happens when tragedy comes and the “uncomfortable” becomes the normal? For you see, in 1871, Horatio had two tragic events happen. The first, he lost his four-year old son and the other was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. This resulted in Horatio losing nearly everything he had owned. As he was attempting to recover, there was an economic recession in 1873. This was the knock-out blow for Mr. Spafford’s business affairs. As a result, he was going to move his family to Europe.
The family was all set to travel when at the last-minute Horatio had to go back to Chicago to close out some business issues. His wife and four daughters headed on to Europe without him. While their ship was crossing the Atlantic Ocean, it collided with another ship and the ship they were on quickly sank. Horatio’s wife was the only survivor. She later telegrammed him, “Saved alone”. As you can imagine, Horatio had to get to Europe and be with his wife. As his shipped passed near the area where he lost his four daughters, he penned the words to the now famous hymn…” It is well with my soul”.
We live in uncertain times and our days can have those feelings of “uncomfortableness” that we do not like…however no matter how big the waves of life become, remember Horatio’s story. Remember that in the most awful circumstance…he penned, “It is well with my soul.” I hope you each have a great week and that all is well with your soul…Let’s get after it.