Thursday, June 13, 2024

Vine Media

葡萄樹傳媒

流逝的時間和創造異象

By Jim Mathis

生活中一項驚人的事實是時間飛快地流逝。似乎在一瞬間,孩子們就長大,人們變老了。當你發現朋友的小女兒已經結婚十二年,或你的「新車」已經八年,都會讓你嚇一跳。你開始為一家公司工作時,還是個年輕人,但不知不覺你已在那裡15年了,且被認為是老前輩。

時間如此快速地飛逝。我們大約花20年在生活中衝刺,然後再花20年把生活步調放慢。這中間的30-40年快得讓我們無法記住。問題是,不論在我們的職場或個人生活中,我們到底要在所擁有的年日裡做什麼?

在聖經新約中,使徒保羅作了一個有趣的觀察:「你們要謹慎行事,不要像愚昧人,當像智慧人。要愛惜光陰,因為現今的世代邪惡。不要作糊塗人,要明白主的旨意如何」(以弗所書5章15-17節)。

我不確定保羅說「世代邪惡」的意思。他是說有邪惡的人想要破壞我們嗎?或是時間不利於我們?他可能兩種意思都有。若我們把世界比喻成一個橄欖球賽,有時我們好像在最後兩分鐘,落後四分,而球在另一隊手上。那是我們應該生活的方式嗎?拼命地追趕?在真實的生活中,我無法看到生命的鐘,而且也不確定分數是多少。但我們仍然需要贏球,盡力比賽到終場。如人們常說:比賽還沒結束前,什麼事都可能發生。

我如此詮釋以弗所書5章15-17節:「好好比賽,不要像沒受過訓練或沒有紀律的球員,而要從心裡了解這比賽和規則,且知道教練在想什麼。不要犯任何愚蠢的錯誤,或犯規,因為時間快沒了。」

許多組織都會定出「異象宣言」,想要激發大家對一個新計劃或新方向的熱情。然而,大部分這些宣言可能都不夠資格被稱為「異象」。有一部字典把異象定義為:對未來有一個不尋常的看見,或特別的洞見。大部份的「異象」其實只是一個策略性的計劃。計劃是好的。但當我們定出「異象宣言」,就應該是說我們要努力地參與這比賽。

我們發現聖經中有一些有關異象的敘述:摩西領導他的同胞離開埃及是其一,還有大衛想為上帝建造聖殿。當耶穌在2,000多年前死在十字架上時,祂的異象成為一股激發的力量──將人類從反抗上帝和祂完美標準的情況中救贖出來。

我們一旦有了一個異象,接著應該做什麼?我繼續用運動的比喻,若我們要參加比賽,我們就要受訓、練習,以增進我們的技術,盡一切所能去準備,並且若有需要,願意坐一下冷板凳。

生命可能最像一場接力賽跑。我們接到棒子,盡力跑,然後把棒子交給下一個跑者。接棒與交棒都是非常重要的步驟,不僅在我們生命的開始和結束,也在一路的旅程中。賽跑可能是一個孤單的追尋,但為了要贏,我們必須繼續跑,決心追尋我們的異象。

吉姆.馬提斯在堪薩斯州陸路公園市經營一家照相館。他的專長是商業和影劇界人像。他也經營一所攝影學校。他還寫了一本書「一般民眾的高度攝影表現」,那是一本有關數位攝影的書。他曾是一家咖啡店的經理,也曾是CBMC在堪薩斯州堪薩斯市和密蘇里州堪薩斯市的執行主任。

省思 / 討論題目
在你生命的這一個時間點,時間的流逝如何影響你?是否讓你重新評估你在個人和工作中要如何運用時間? 本文作者說:異象與策略計劃不同。你認為他的意思是什麼?在你看來,什麼是「異象」? 你對生命或事業的異象會如何影響你要做的事--以及你如何去做? 把生命比喻成接力賽跑,你認為有道理嗎?為什麼?若你想看或討論聖經有關此主題的其他經文,請看以下經節:箴言29章18節;傳道書3章1-12節;哥林多前書15章58節;加拉太書6章9-10節

PASSING TIME AND CREATING VISION
By Jim Mathis

One of the startling realities of life is how quickly time passes. Children grow up and people get old in what seems like an instant. Realizing your friend”s little girl has been married for twelve years or that your “new car” is eight years old always comes as a shock. You start working for a company as a young person, and before you know it you have been there 15 years and are considered an “old-timer.”

Time rushes by so rapidly. We spend about 20 years getting up to speed in life, and another 20 slowing down. The 30-40 years in the middle go by faster than we can keep track. The question, whether in our workplace pursuits or personal lives, is what are we going to do with the years we have?

In the Bible”s New Testament, the apostle Paul makes an interesting observation: “Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord”s will is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

I am not certain what Paul meant in stating, “The days are evil.” Did he mean there are evil people out there trying to destroy us, or that time is not on our side? He could have implied both. If we compare the world to a big football game, sometimes it seems as if we in the final two minutes, trailing by four points, and the other team has the ball. Is that how we should live, trying desperately to catch up? In the context of real life, I cannot see the clock, and am not certain what the score is. But we still need to play to win – playing full speed to the finish. As has often been said, the game is not over until it is over.

Here is how I paraphrase Ephesians 5:15-17: “Play the game well, not as untrained or poorly disciplined players, but as team members who know all the plays and rules by heart, and know what the coach is thinking. Do not make any foolish mistakes or commit penalties because the clock is running out.”

Many organizations formulate “vision statements,” attempting to generate enthusiasm for a new plan or direction. However, vision might be too lofty a term for most of these statements. A dictionary defines vision as either an unusual look into the future, or special insight. Most of what is described as “vision” really is a strategic plan. Plans are good. But when we produce a “vision statement,” it really should be saying we want to be vitally involved in the game.

We find some accounts of vision in the Bible: Moses leading his people out of Egypt is one, as is David”s desire to build the temple for God. When Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago, His vision became a motivating force – the redemption of mankind from its rebellion against God and His perfect standards.

Once we have embraced a vision, what should we do then? Continuing the sports metaphor, if we want to be in the game, we need to train, practice to refine our skills, do everything we can to prepare, and be willing to sit on the bench for a while if necessary.

Life is probably most like a relay race. We receive the baton, run our best, and then pass the baton to the next runner. Receiving and passing the baton are the critical steps, not only at the beginning and end of our lives, but all along the journey. Running can be a lonely pursuit, but to win we must keep running, in determined pursuit of our vision.

Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits, and operates a school of photography. Jim is the author of High Performance Cameras for Ordinary People, a book on digital photography. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
At this point in your life, how has the passage of time affected you? Has it caused you to reevaluate your personal and professional use of time? What do you think Mr. Mathis means when he states having a vision is different from having a strategic plan? In your thinking, what is “vision”? How can your vision for your life or your business affect how you approach what you do – and how you do it? Does the comparison of life to a relay race make sense to you? Why or why not?If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Proverbs 29:18; Ecclesiastes 3:1-12; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9-10

10