In writing about roles I realized that some people who read this confused role and job. Role is not a job and a job is not a role. Likewise your life theme may be a mission statement or it may be a clear statement about what you want to do with your life. It is not about a selfish need it is about others. Buying a big screen TV, or traveling to Portugal, while interesting does not really serve anyone and in the end won’t be very satisfying to you.
Let me ask some questions: What are your strengths?
What weak goals or false hopes have led to what your perceive as failures in your life?
Where did you see God show up in your experience, or did you see that at all?
What has been the happiest time of your life?
Victor Frankly, the famous psychologist and Logo-therapist, contends that mistakes and even tragedies in life should not be viewed as negative but as painful and important lessons that ultimately build our character. So as we review the negative experiences of our life there are things we can and should learn from them. In some cases it may be that what we interpret as negative may actually be some of the most interesting and teachable times of our life. Frankl would suggest that we view them with “redemptive perspective.” In every tragedy, he would suggest, we have the ability to find some good.
Frankly worked with 30,000 suicidal patients and not one of them took their life under his care. That is a very good record, wouldn’t you say? We are not “victims” of circumstances. A victim is completely powerless. So we must ask ourselves, what do we gain from acting as a victim in life? Do we gain attention, power, or control? Romans 8:37 says, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” One might even suggest as a Christian we should embrace difficulties and challenges. So change is something that is good. Yet, in order to change something has to incite the need to change.
If you want to get a new job and find more satisfying work you may need to move some distance away and perhaps even risk unemployment for a period of time. I’m not suggesting you should do this but it may be necessary in order to change. In order to learn a new skill you may need to sign up for a class. Will there be obstacles and difficulties that lay in your path? Absolutely. For every good change there will be resistance. Consider the roles of your life – how do you want to improve them?
Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Disciple, Leader, Healthy Person, Student, or others. What change do you need to incite in order to make your roles better. What underlying theme will guide you as you make your decisions? I was watching a video today of a husband and wife discussing how their life changed when she battled Rheumatoid Arthritis and her husband battle Lyme Disease. Talk about a one two punch to their marriage. Yet, they embraced it and learned how to work through these diseases together. They became healthier and relationally much healthier. The role of becoming healthy and a better spouse took center stage.
I’m working on clearing the deck a little bit. I’ve got too many roles. I’m a little like the guy who is spinning plates and trying to keep them all spinning so they don’t fall and break. It would be better if I didn’t have so many to spin. In order to get to a better place I have to cut some things out. What roles need the attention and which ones can be put aside for now. Interesting question – change will take some thought and prayer.