Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
LIE #3: TRANQUILITY AND TROUBLES CANNOT CO-EXIST
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~Jesus
None of us is immune to life’s travails. It seems to me that the most important issue is not the persistent reality of troubles. Rather it is how we deal with them. Specifically, do we allow the storm to steal our peace or does our peace govern our response to the storm?
As I reflect on both my professional and personal lives, it seems that halcyon times marked by smooth, untroubled sailing are the exception, not the norm. Several years ago in conjunction with the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast, Mary and I attended a business group at which Pastor Rick Warren spoke. Warren shared how, at one time, he thought of life’s journey as akin to a roller coaster; that is, a continuum of up times followed by down times followed by up times and so on.
From personal experience, however, Warren had come to realize that the roller coaster is not a particularly apt metaphor. Rather, our journey is more akin to a railroad track. On one rail are negative experiences, on the other positive, and they occur concurrently rather than sequentially.
His conclusion certainly aligns with my personal experience. Reviewing my task list today, I see both negative and positive issues informing my “to dos”. I suspect that my experience is the norm. In fact, Jesus himself said that all of us will encounter troubles.
For those who have not yet entrusted their lives to Jesus, troubles are problematic. Because Jesus is not part of their worldview, they must rely on either their personal resources or help from others or both. Ultimately, however, they must tackle and overcome the troubles with or without the help of other people (or the government) or give up. For many individuals in these situations, tranquility and troubles are mutually exclusive.
For those of us who have entrusted our lives, both professional and personal, to Jesus, however, tranquility and troubles can co-exist. For example, I clearly remember the day almost eight years ago when the respirologist told me I had early stage lung cancer. In that moment, I had an overwhelming experience of God’s presence and peace.
This week, I received an email from a member of a LeaderImpact group requesting prayer. The individual’s resume is full of significant leadership accomplishments. Notwithstanding, he and his family are going through a difficult trial as he seeks work matching his advanced education and successful senior leadership experience.
As a follower of Jesus, however, he is trusting God to get him through this trying time. Given the long struggle, he admits to tiredness – even a measure of despondency on occasion – but he hasn’t abandoned hope.
One member of his group provided encouragement from his own experience and cited the following verse from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the fledgling church in Rome. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” He shared that this passage has become his life verse. I think I’ll appropriate it!
The upcoming Weekly Impact post will be my last for the time being.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.