Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Surprising Things To Learn About Yourself

(Click here to read about my upcoming trip to India!)

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I want to always be a learner. I hope I never come to the place where I feel that I cannot learn something new. Especially, I want to make sure I am learning about myself.
I have learned a lot about myself in the last few years because of two major changes in my life that have given me an entirely new perspective.
The first change was this: After working much of my adult life as a pastor supported by a church, I have spent the last three years working a "tentmaking" job, while continuing to minister on "my time". Here are some things I have learned:
  • I need to be less demanding with people. There is nothing wrong with challenging people. But between job, family, community, and relationships, most people do not have the amount of extra time to give to the church that the pastor wishes they would.
  • I need to be more creative with time. If I needed to call my mechanic or run to Lowe's to pick up a plumbing fitting, I would call my mechanic or run to Lowe's. Now, I must schedule my personal business either during my lunch hour, after I get off work in the evening, or on the weekend.
  • I need to be more purposeful with my free time. My free time has become less, and also very precious to me. I find myself reading less, writing less, and investing in relationships less. I need to make time during my free time to accommodate those listed disciplines.
The second change was this: I have been to India, multiple times. Here are some things I have learned:
  • I do not need to consume all of the food available to me. I stopped eating as much as I used to. I have seen multiple times where a family of four shares the same amount of food over the course of a day that I would eat in one meal.
  • I take luxuries like air conditioning and electricity for granted. I have stopped complaining when the power goes off. Regular "power cuts" are a daily occurrence in India, and they often happen during the hottest part of the day.
  • I don't always need the newest and the best. I have learned to value and preserve the possessions that I have been blessed with. Many Indian men have only three shirts in their closet. Some don't even have a closet. Old and worn, yet still functional describe many possessions of the people of India.
Please do not take these comments as a rant against materialism. Know that they are simply a confession of surprising things I have learned about myself.
Question: What have you learned ablout yourself by changing your perspective or lifestyle? Share your thoughts below in 'comments'.

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