There’s an old Chinese proverb that I just love. It goes like this: Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. (Tao Te Ching).
Stop and think about that. I imagine we’d be pretty shocked if we realized just how much of our day or week might be spent in trying to please or impress some one or some thing. Or, to discover that perhaps our time, energy, and resources might be going into or being invested in people, organizations, or things that possibly won’t matter (or even be there!) down the road.
A friend and I were chatting about this, and she quickly put it into perspective for me. When a problem arises in her life or, when something doesn’t sit quite right, she stops and asks this question: “Will I still be attached to this situation, or know this person 5 years from now. And if not, will it matter?”
What a great way to step back and evaluate when we feel a bit out of control or confused. Basically, in five years, will that organization, or person, that situation, or job be in your life? And if not, will it matter?”
You have to be very careful with this one, but if you handle it with some sensitive realism and honestly, (and in proper moderation) it’s some good brain work. Try it, and the next time you find that you are really upset or frustrated about something, or someone, ask yourself the “5-year” question. It might bring some much needed and immediate perspective, strategy or relief.
Just my thoughts,
Is. 40:7 ¶ The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
Is. 40:8 ¶ The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”
1Pet. 1:24 For, ¶ “All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,