What It's About

TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Value of Stress-Harmonised Parenting

REGRET IS A COMMON EMOTION for parents as they look back. God humbles us never more than through the eyeglass of bringing up our children. He uses parenting to give us a glimpse of what it might feel like to be God (but without godly attributes).

The Purpose In Parenting

Regardless of whether we achieve it or not, or how well we achieve it, the purpose in parenting is raising well-adjusted children to adulthood, and to support them with our encouragement through our whole lives.

This purpose can only take effect, generally, if we establish within ourselves the ability to master one broad aspect of self-management.

One quality of our personhood stands to see us achieve our goal, more or less, depending on how well we assimilate it. The key question is, how well do we understand and deal with our stress?

A Range of Problems Highlighting One Cause

Whether it’s anger or leniency or the lack of time given to parenting or any other reason or combination of reasons, it’s only adjacent to the point. These are usually symptoms revealing the presence of an underlying cause.

Problems in parenting, noted especially in unhappy children, persist so long as the parent feels continually out of control (for whatever reason). Many other visible problems occur because of this sole cause.

All parents will feel out of control from time to time. It’s how we restore control that’s the key issue. It’s only coming at these problems from a realistic, rational, logical, responsible, and reasonable viewpoint that we can do that. This requires momentary stress harmonisation—the ability to conform stressful situations into everyday calm.

Consideration for Stress Harmonisation

1. Provided we’re educated—and implicitly motivated—around the reasons for quality parenting, there is generally only one core barrier to being an effective parent as I’ve mentioned. That is, how we manage stress—ours firstly, then how we help our children with theirs (as much as that’s possible).

2. Patience is the key. Ironically, with few exceptions, there are probably few others on earth that will test our patience more than our children. It’s not their fault; it’s just the way it is.

3. The attribute of patience is developed in the heat of the furnace of everyday life. We can’t ask for our patience to be developed and then resent the arrival of the opportunity. As a habit, it needs practice to eventually flourish. The patient person has enabled their capacity to harmonise stress.

4. Let it be said, too, we find it difficult to be patient with others if we can’t first be patient with ourselves. Parenting starts within, as does our approach to any relationship. Our self-concept needs to be healthy and continually adjusted to reality.

5. None of us will get it perfectly right; indeed, all of us will get it wrong. The point is what are we characterised by—are we normally patient? There isn’t a parent alive who doesn’t feel the sting of regret for impatient acts now done and dusted. But, it’s the future that counts; what we are able to put right or do better next time.

6. Interestingly, being able to harmonise our stress is about being honest with our feelings and dealing with them—but not with the children, unless by way of apology for having transgressed their feelings. A great deal of healing can take place when we own our actions and make restitution via apology. But otherwise, children should be saved the burden of processing their parents’ negative emotions.


Children need parents established in the practice of their adulthood—rational, patient, discerning, honest-with-their-feelings, happily imperfect human beings. Everyone gets stressed. Harmonising stress, though, has to be a parent’s key prerogative. It’s the best hope for raising well-adjusted children to adulthood, and enjoying the relationship beyond.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Relational Exchange – What I Must Give You

Issues of relationships and communication seem perplexing and overwhelming to many. It’s easy to feel claustrophobic as we look someone in the eye, manufacture a smile, and pretend to know what they’re on about. Much of our own noise proves the barrier.

Situations like the above make more for curling up in bed than for rabble-rousing in social contexts.

Oftentimes even though we want to make a good fist of our communication, to demonstrate our love for this other person, we can feel incapable. Perhaps it’s more a case of understanding the dynamic we seek to create.

Effective Communication is Active Sacrifice

Communication is not passive; but when we enter it in this vein, without a lot of forethought, we’re quickly blindsided. It can feel like an ambush when we’re suddenly flailing in the midst of a conversation; our confidence taking a hammering.

It was probably because we were already preoccupied in thought, or protecting ourselves because we didn’t feel like relating, or because we just felt introspective. It doesn’t help us in the moment, however.

What will help, though, is knowing the importance of sacrifice in the moment.

It will help when we have the awareness, there and then, that the relational exchange is created as we manage something technical in our thinking. What we need to do right now, just for these seconds, is give of ourselves wholly to the other person; to watch their eyes, look for their body language, focus on the words and tone of their speech. Then we merely respond—nods, smiles, frowns as appropriate, gestures of confirmation etc.

As we actively give during these moments we set aside as much as possible what we are thinking and feeling, driving all our focus and energy into what’s going on for them. This way we retrieve self-confidence because any time other people feel heard they confirm it in positive ways back to us via non-verbal feedback.

Communication is Not a Gift, but Employed Technique

It’s funny the things we tell ourselves. We say, “I’m not a very good communicator,” or “I try to work on listening because I have no idea what to say.” Maybe we have little interest in communicating, but find the world demands it of us so we comply.

We can communicate effectively even when we don’t feel like it if we can give ourselves, mechanically, to the other person. This is not hard for a series of seconds, or separate blocks of minutes. (Even if we must communicate all day, there are constant opportunities to gain respite, by getting away from people, or getting moments where we can be alone with our thoughts—this is what we can look forward to.)

In the moment of reluctant communication, self-confidence is the key. When we don’t want to be there, the best thing we can do is deflect what we might truly feel, temporarily, rearranging our focus somewhat. This is merely a technique that can be employed making strained communications easier.

The good news is communication is more about technique than gift; we can be capable of good communication even when we don’t feel like it.

When we understand that communication is an exchange—something I can choose to give to you—we are in control. We see then, the motive to do it well is there already.

Even if we feel low we can communicate effectively if we need to.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Blessedness of Relinquishing Control

Nothing can be taken from us if we have no insistence upon retaining anything. The more we are able to relinquish control over the externalities of our lives the more peace we may enjoy.

The ‘Quiet Enjoyment’ of Life Experience

In tenancy terms, a landlord must respect the rights of the tenant so far as the quiet enjoyment of the property they rent under contract is concerned.

God, our landlord, extends those same rights to us—that we may enjoy the right of occupation in our mortal bodies, our comprehensive minds, and the collective soul.

As we consider God our landlord, and our bodies, minds and souls as the property under lease, we suddenly comprehend the level of control that we have. The right of quiet enjoyment is enough, though many might look down their noses at a rental agreement versus the option of mortgage and ‘home’ ownership.

Indeed, many run from God all their lives only to finish the race fully paid-up (‘owning’ their homes) yet bankrupt; it was never their property to claim; a rental agreement was all that was available; they signed a contract with a counterfeit party we know to be the devil. It is the devil that sows the lie that life is all ours without account.

The wise person understands that the property must be given back to God at the end of the lease. What we have, however, is blessing enough—quiet enjoyment of life experience. It’s enough for anybody.

What We Ought To Control

The nature of the rental agreement empowers the lessee to rights beyond quiet enjoyment, as they may use that property for a purpose that it is designed for. For instance, if a refrigeration works is leased, that facility should be used by a company in the business of keeping refrigerated goods or providing refrigerated services.

Likewise, the practical control we have is over the purpose and meaning of our lives is the inauguration and propagation of our identities.

This we should come to fully know, as far as it’s practicable for us to know ourselves, and this we should also protect—ensuring our personality identity is indemnified, all the while anticipating the changes that may, at various stages, reframe our life flow. Occasionally the landlord will decide, upon allowable notice, to transform the terms of the contract. Change does occur, and it is a fact that our purpose may change even a handful of times over a lifetime. Much of the time it is us, and not the landlord, that initiates change.

We have charge over the present state: what we are constructed for, what we can achieve, in quiet enjoyment, which is relative freedom.

Situational control is nothing to be sneezed at. It is privilege enough.

Accepting What May Occur

Our circumstances may change and they may change us, but we order the changes to our identities—no one else does this, barring God. The Lord, we have to accept, brings change at times for whatever reasons; sometimes far beyond our rationality.

Accepting the things we cannot change in life is a great protective mechanism shifting the ordinary burden of ownership back where it rightly belongs. It’s God’s territory and only the Lord can distribute contract for life.


If we insist on maintaining control over externalities we may find life compels us to change our identities. This is a great irony. To demand control is to, at the same time, lose control. The blessedness of relinquishing control is we gain complete relative control over the use of our minds, bodies and souls. They are ours for quiet enjoyment.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Humility’s Great Test

The biggest factor and barrier to good relationships is great and poor humility respectively. A poignant test of humility is how well a questioner listens once their question has been asked; you see, many people ask questions to seem interested, yet as their eyes wander off you know they are not. Seem familiar?

When the people we meet seem more interested in talking than listening there’s a communication imbalance occurring, and the predominant talker has dropped humility.

They are no longer thinking of the other as equal to themselves; they have forgotten, or will not apply, the golden rule—treat others as we, ourselves, would want to be treated.

Applying the Test to Ourselves

A test for humility would not be so if we didn’t turn it in on ourselves.

As we read the first three paragraphs, we could have been given to thinking of a time when someone wasn’t listening to us as effectively as we would have liked.

But humility is a personal issue.

When have we perhaps not listened as well as we could have?

Growth in humility is as easy as consistently putting other people in the same order as ourselves. In the realm of communication, as we’ve commenced this discussion, putting other people in the same order as ourselves is about having a willingness to listen when it’s our turn. It’s to seem and be interested in other people’s subject matter. This is no easy thing if we are not developed in humility—we will be distracted easily.

The truly humble can listen intently even in the most boring and unstimulating conversations, because it’s not the subject matter that motivates their listening, but their love for the person doing the talking. They are effectively deploying the golden rule.

The Blessings Incumbent On The Humble

As I’ve intimated above, we cannot truly apply this test over other people, because humility is a personal journey. This journey reveals to us, personally, the blessings of God and of others around us—everyone on the receiving end of humility is blessed; this remits joy over us as blessing others is a key purpose of life.

If we will genuinely want joy to characterise our lives we really want humility to season our personalities and the deployment of our communications.

If we will want to exemplify humility we will want to be interested listeners; people given to the art of listening, not so much for the subject matter, but for the person talking—they ought to be subjected to our love-displayed-interest.

Here is the clincher. Humility is easy when we are genuinely interested in the other person. Harder is the habit; humility developed. But the habit is fortified when it is consistently adopted. The product will be the blessings of joy. God will see to that.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Everyone’s on the Journey of Life

Speaking with a mature-age graduate about perceived prejudices being accepted into graduate programs, hearing his frustration, I realised the challenges some people are up against. Life is plain difficult for the many, whilst many too are correspondingly bored with their lives.

Everybody has difficulty.

Some struggle just to keep up with all the motion in their lives; others are ready, and have been ready for some time, to take the next step, but that step never seems to come. Some have tumultuous relationships to bear and consider; others only hope and dream of some of those sorts of challenges. Some are burdened with pain we couldn’t contemplate; others feel no pain and their numbness bothers them no end—they just want to feel. And then there are those all in between, with one of a million different fragments to identify them and indemnify their journey.

Everybody has challenges.

Very few people find themselves perfectly delighted in their lives for long lengths of time.

Indeed, the moment we finally find we’ve ‘made it’ we might also find we’re in for a rude surprise.

Appreciating the journey is about appreciating that everyone is on the journey. We may feel less besotted with our own lives, and happier generally, when we step into others’ lives and feel for them. In this God is made real.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In the Palm of God’s Will

What we are so concerned about now won’t be a thought in two years time. That concern, then, we cannot imagine just now. Hence, we have nothing to worry about.

Instead, again and again and again, we ought to refocus on the moment’s imperative—who to listen to, how to talk, what to plan and execute, where to travel, when to depart and arrive, and the constant challenge: why do we do these things we do? These are the matters for today.

Staying contemporary is a matter of quiet self-discipline, augmented by the simplicity of doing only what the Spirit of God anoints.

With an eye on the present and an ear for the Spirit’s voice—as the adroit morality of the enquiring conscience informs us—we are perfectly equipped to bid at the Lord’s undertaking.

Being in the palm of God’s will is a supernatural presence all about us to know that now is all we have; it’s all we need. Satisfied, we go on and steady the moment. The spiritual life, other than healthy reflection or planning, is about constantly reverting to that place of coming back to now.

Now is the presence of the moment. Blessed are we when we retrieve such awareness and bring it forth into action. Then we are able to be still.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Catch-22 of Forgiveness

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors... For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” ~Matthew 6:12, 14-15 (NRSV).

We can be forgiven—pardon the pun—in struggling to forgive, not understanding the nature of grace is to consider others the same as ourselves. Jesus, of course, propounds the fact in the next chapter of Matthew; verse 12. The golden rule is, do to others as we would have them do to us—this sums up the spirituality of relationships.

We may figure God having a sense of humour; we get coming right back at us exactly what we give out. You can’t get any fairer than that.

One-Way Forgiveness

There is an important clarification so far as forgiveness is concerned. Forgiveness is normally offered and accepted—the two-way street. Many people falsely see no attribution of forgiveness other than via the two-way street; they think forgiveness offered that’s not accepted is not full forgiveness. This two-way street is not the type of forgiveness, I think, that Jesus has in mind here, above.

When we think about it, in most cases, forgiveness does not involve two parties equally, as there is usually one party more aggrieved than the other is. In many cases, only one party is aggrieved; they are the ones that struggle to forgive.

If we can accept that forgiveness can also be a one-way street—the process offering grace, without necessarily being accepted—then we can progress. After all, if forgiveness is not forgiveness because of some part another person plays or doesn’t play, how on earth do we achieve it?

But this is not our prime focus.

Now, to the business end of the discussion on forgiveness.

The Plain Truth on How Forgiveness Works

As suggested above, the key to forgiveness is humility.

Rather than pray for humility, however, God makes us able to be more humble at the pure consideration of our many imperfections—not to be put down by them but to see them in their true light.

Strangely, focusing on our own sinfulness is the secret to humility, which is also the foundation of a forgiving manner.

The truth of our sinfulness—seeing it raw and true—is blessing because a miraculous thing happens when such humility becomes us; suddenly we see the moment and our world as they truly are. God, that moment, has blessed us with his vision. There are a plethora of spin-offs. Unabashed joy coats our demeanour and others are blessed by us without the waft of an effort.

When we see ourselves aright—struggling in our sinfulness, but not giving up—we see God’s grace all the more, and we see others in a much better light, naturally. We have adopted fairness and justice.

Forgiveness works as a miracle, but one engendered by our investment in humility.

God blesses such an investment—the commitment to true sight—with provision of feelings of forgiveness that we cannot explain; hence the miracle. We cannot claim this as a work of our own. It is too marvellous for us.

The Reversal in Forgiveness

There is a classic irony in forgiveness as we’ve touched on above. We are fooled to think that the person betraying, disregarding, or hurting us is the only one to have done wrong.

Forgiveness can only occur, genuinely, when—in the initial state—we comprehend our own sinfulness and need of God’s unrelenting forgiveness. Understanding that the compassion of the Lord to forgive us, once and for all, is incomprehensible can’t be understated.

It helps us understand how comparatively small our forgiveness of someone’s indiscretion against us is. This is not to downplay the hurt we feel, but it puts it into perspective.

When we put the acid of condemnation on ourselves, and find afresh that God has instead replaced that acid with the cream of forgiveness, we are so much more able to see that favour we ought to extend to others.

Forgiveness is, indeed, a reversal. It has nothing to do with the other person. Forgiveness is about us and God. If we struggle with this let’s rethink grace. That’s the Catch-22 of forgiveness—it begins and ends with us and our processes with God.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sing Me a Love Song

Better, strangely, to have loved and lost than to have never risked loving at all. But that’s perceived callously, no matter how true it is, especially to the one still lost to love gone. Love and grief, it seems, have an antagonistic relationship with each other.

Love is about both object and subject. We pine to love and be loved—perhaps the latter more instinctively, but that’s not always the case.

Love, so far as people are concerned, has no better outcome than two people working together. Cooperation and unity are perfectly fitted to obey God in desire and willingness.

Love as a Twosome

The factor of two people in close proximity, each object and subject, creates enormous dynamic pressure on the fuselage of the relationship. Such a flight as love features many things that can go wrong, as are the number of things that potentially augment blessing.

Love as a twosome can be hard work as values diverge and actions taken polarise.

Perhaps the process to, and of, love could be described as a space shuttle adventure. We have already noted the forces implicit on both parties and the relationship as a whole as the shuttle launches. It takes about eight tremulous minutes for the vehicle to reach the safety of orbit. Likewise, love settles when both parties accept the companionate state of love. The only other foreseeable risk when love is in orbit is complacency on either or both parties; the systems on board the spacecraft of love not monitored or cared for.

The highest degree of love as a twosome is that one might say to the other, in the manner of their being together, “Sing me a Love Song”; to which they’d both break into song.

When Love Becomes One

So often in life love ends suddenly, unpredictably, and with much pain.

Times that decree that a twosome is broken down again to oneness are sharp and tantalising. Brutishness has become the nature of life; oneness sees to it that we are now broken in such a way that a demolition and rebuild are the only choices at hand—the soul’s outward identity to be reconstructed. This takes time and the full process of grief; none are saved from this, apart from their denial.

This is God’s will that we would grieve; believe that or not.

We may wonder what kind of God would take the love of our life away from us. The fact is love will not save us. Only God can do that. Love has a purpose—two people, object and subject—toward meaning for life. Otherwise, however, love is not necessary apart from God’s love.

To endure the losing of love seems pointless at the time; but God has a better design. As we lose, wisdom suggests we pray that we might look at this Lord all the more. Faith will show us why.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Now, About Recognition and Feedback

Satisfaction in life is heavily influenced by what we receive from others—by what they say to us regarding their perception of us and what we do. What others think means more to us than many of us will admit.

Two key forms of receipt are recognition and feedback: the former is triggered upon reflection; the latter we receive with immediacy. Both are important.

We all hope for appropriate levels of recognition and feedback.


Rewards we seek throughout life, and recognition is the best reward.

This is never more poignantly illustrated than via the simple thanks we receive in the recognition of what results have meant—whether to others, a particular venture, or general efficiencies created. On the surface, recognition may be as plain as positive feedback, but true recognition is a gift bestowed beyond prediction. In retrospect it was deserved, but the value of the acts that generated the recognition is only counted by the effort invested in the act of recognising someone. Good deeds have meaning in what they mean for others.

Can there be a better gift than recognition?

When we issue the recognition, we’ve invested creative thought regarding what to recognise and how to effectively do it—to maximise blessing for the person receiving it. The blessing bestowed comes right back at us as we see the effect of encouragement; those who bless are blessed. We see how just a pinch of kudos lights the receiver’s inspired wick and their joy burns strongly.

In receipt it’s a boost. We love spending time around people who recognise us in truth. These people are thankful; they prove it by their investment in looking for others’ good. Of course, some of the best recognition is to be left alone and not criticised, like when people are especially patient with us.

Recognition really is an understated power for life.


Giving feedback requires momentary reflective vision, courage and effort.

Many people would rather let it slide, but the person committed to the loving truth will commit the thought and time to express what another person could benefit from. All good feedback is constructive, whether considered positive or negative. It has the receiver’s future, and their learning, at heart. The person providing feedback can also, preferably, weigh the receiver’s reaction, particularly for negative feedback.

But the feedback we are most interested in is the positive variety. There are so many more opportunities to give positive feedback than negative, usually. In a world that thrives in the negative, how nice to receive positive feedback.


Gifts come no better than kindness issued in a timely “well done”; enhancement is gained by creatively expressing such truth. Beyond flattery, well deployed recognition and feedback promote the likelihood that good deeds will be repeated, and they ignite joy in the receiver.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What Do I Do When He/She Resents Me?

We all make enemies in life. Better put, there are some who will see us as detractors, betrayers or charlatans despite how we’ve acted; though at times because of the way we’ve acted or not acted. We cannot please everybody all the time.

An important fact to acknowledge is many people cannot help but become offended and they’ll naturally hold on to their resentments. Most people, likewise, are sorely tempted to hold grudges; it’s a significant process for anyone to genuinely express forgiveness.


Sensible Options

Should this issue affect us? Whether it should or not, it most often does.

It depends whether the relationship is important to us—usually regarding the future—and, whether we can actually do anything to improve rapport.

Sometimes we can’t do anything to shift their thinking. Or, if they have little foreseeable bearing on our future, why would we logically worry?

The third issue, one that’s key for us all, is how do we accept these situations, and as much as possible even make friends out of those would-be enemies?

Considerations for the Future

As the seasons of life change people come into our lives and some leave. Those leaving or having less to do with us shouldn’t demand a lot of our attention other than us giving them cordial well-wishes.

Most people, however, are in our lives for an infinite period so far as we or they can see. It’s these people we must work with—and they with us, if that’s their desire.

The future is a key consideration whether we bother with others’ resentments or not.

Potential to Improve Rapport

Some people will want to forgive and others won’t. Those who abhor conflict may still battle to forgive us, but our desire to improve rapport will join with theirs to achieve a meeting of the minds.

There are some others who seem quite at home in conflict. They talk about it often and a lot of their lives are characterised by being in conflict with someone or at odds over some issue. With these, it’s a challenging prospect, and we may need to decide whether copious portions of humble pie on our behalf are worth it—sometimes they are.

Plain Acceptance

Catch-all ideas round out any of these sorts of discussions.

Acceptance is that catch-all in view here. Where we have no choice but to grin and bear the situations of resentment that affect us, all that can be done is accept that conflict is part of our world. The presence of conflict may merely highlight how good it is when conflict is missing.


One great beauty of faith is the proverbial truth:

“When the ways of people please the Lord, he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.” ~Proverbs 16:7 (NRSV).

This truth ought to encourage us; obey God beyond our instinctive desires and all will go well enough in our relationships.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Building for Something Better

We exist in a world where instant results drive most people. Older generations will recall a time, however, when people planned ahead and saved, building a future—patience being rewarded through a well-organised approach to fulfilling their dream.

That reward remains today if we will build the sort of future that God is steadily sowing into our hearts now.

Extending the Building Analogy

Construction is a metaphor well worthy of our plans for better things.

The need for the asset is, first, identified. This is equivalent to the pressure-for-change that compels us to build for a happier future, bright with hope, and fulfilling our purpose.

Design is the next phase. We develop the blueprint and think some more. We take the blueprint to people we trust and solicit their opinion. Back to the architect we go—who in this case is us—and we continue to refine the design.

When we are happy with these plans we take them to the local government authority for approval. Then we engage a builder who will bring these plans to reality.

The timeline is developed and contracts are signed. Then we wait and monitor progress, all the while anticipating how good it will be to enjoy this new building.

The whole developed world understands this principle of slow development.

It’s no different for us in our personal lives. The process of slow development, plans maturing over time, with plenty of scope for reflection and critique, helps us to achieve the best possible outcome. This method employs wisdom.

Building a Better Foundation

Jesus’ concluding point in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27) centred on the foundational strength of two buildings: one built on sand, the other on rock. Not only must our faith be built solidly, our plans are best blessed also when we patiently lay them, like bricks, one course at a time.

Change is a risky business. Perhaps we learn once in life—maybe once too many—that flippant change of directions can end disastrously. Wisdom suggests there is nothing wrong with change, just we need to understand what needs changing, how to do it, and what timeline is realistic.


Why do we forge ahead to bring about instant change when we miss out on the climaxing anticipation of a well-laid plan eventually coming to pass?

It’s because we are naturally impatient. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so we want what we can get today. It affects all of us unless we understand that good things can’t take place without much thought and planning.

The best future is planned, custom-designed to our unique needs. While we wait, there is peace in preparation and joy in anticipation. And patience is all we need. Better to build something that is needed, and wait for it, than to occupy a redundant dwelling early.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There Is No S_ccess without “U”

Your world’s success depends to a major degree on you. You, believe it or not, are pivotal—to others’ happiness, goals, capacities, wellbeing etc. It’s true. You have more control than you might think.

When you were placed in the world, you suddenly brought with you the ability to brighten or darken the days of those closest to you. As you grew up that circle of influence widened; suddenly you impacted anyone you could touch.

We smiled and made someone’s day; we frowned and caused someone else bother.

But, in terms of success, we will inevitably ask ourselves one important question.


When we are led to ask ourselves, “where do I fit?” we should remember the answer is so simple, but commonly elusive.

Try this:

We fit where we currently are, no matter how awkward that might seem. It doesn’t mean we don’t need to continue to explore better sized fits—the world (our world) changes and we will need, and probably want, to adapt. We may desire to create change; to design a better fit. That’s perfectly okay.

Fit is important to success. It’s easy to succeed where we fit. When we feel we don’t fit, succeeding seems like no tougher assignment. Yet, “fit” is a mind job. Our self-talk will have a lot to say about our perception of fit.

Others’ Worlds

But fit is only one aspect of success if we’re going to understand the term, in its communal context with others, globally.

Their success depends to a greater degree on us than we can imagine.

We empower or disempower, encourage or discourage, by the way we interact, and the things we endorse and promote or ridicule and disparage.

Others’ worlds are hugely impacted by us, as is ours impacted by them.

We live with interdependent arrangements more than we commonly realise. This is why trust and respect are so vital. Why would we wonder why we don’t receive the trust and respect we feel we deserve when we don’t extend these same qualities (covering for those who don’t trust or respect us when we trust and respect them)?

Success Depends on You

Our immediate world’s success really does depend on each one of us, and what we contribute from what we have to offer.

This is not about adding even more pressure to us in our interactions; it’s just about appreciating how valuable each of us is in noting we each have equal power to impact our direct worlds.

Let us never underestimate how important our personal impact is in our world. That we can make someone’s day is nothing to be taken lightly.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Waiting For the Good Thing Coming

At times we’re easily frantic for opportunities that are only about to commence. It’s a positive anxiety we experience, verging on a tinge of greed, as the taste of this new thing overwhelms us for what might be.

God knows what is good for us. Leaping ahead of the Lord is, however, about taking the reins once more, thinking our conniving will attract this good thing coming, even quicker or especially better.

Yet, as we take those reins we often spoil the good thing; the lustre of it tarnishes, or it disappears from sight.

What Will Be Will Be

Whether we do anything to influence the result of the things coming toward us, or not, is generally beside the point. We have less control over these things than we think we do. Yet, God will let us believe whatever lies go unchallenged.

Are we really masters and mistresses of our own destinies?

Whatever we do fits with God’s preordained plan, even though we might expect to think that we are the only ones choosing one specific option of a thousand.

Life works out the way it’s supposed to, even beyond goodness unto evil because of the broken world, and what will be will be.

Welcoming That Which Is Coming

The patience of self-control is what we really need as we attempt to avoid manufacturing circumstances that will see us have all we want before time or better.

The point isn’t getting our own way. The point is facilitating God’s way.

This is a hard line to draw. Who wouldn’t be tempted to stage manage a fantastic opportunity? Who wouldn’t grasp with both hands stolen fruit that’s offered in the spirit of mutual beneficence?

We can find it hard to discern what God is actually bringing. And even when we earnestly seek direction—“Is this from, or of, God?”—we’re often left wondering.

Of course, trust is the issue. If we trust in our Lord to bring us goodness, all that is coming is ultimately goodness; even, unfortunately, the bad that happens. That which is coming ought to be welcomed, but how often are we either ambivalent when we don’t want it, or overly ambitious when we do?


Good things coming are in abundance. We welcome their coming, sometimes too much. It’s better by far to wait patiently at the gate as golden opportunities arrive at our street. Even as they are gallivanting down the road we resist charging out on the busy thoroughfare to greet them. If these things are truly good they will arrive in their own time.

Biding our time is the hardest thing to do when the gates of opportunity are opening already. Yet, a moment’s patience in the midst of blessing will be, in itself, blessing.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.