What I think…Secondary At Best

I wish I were better at this. But as a self-described pioneer and not a settler, pioneering means improvement should not be unattainable let alone elusive.

Case in point: what is the value of our personal experience when dealing with a new situation? Maybe you do the same. I find chafing inside when I share “my situation” with someone else and even before the first verbal paragraph I get a “should list.”

That happen to you?

I lament when I do that. So, this is not innocence sharing.

If someone trusts me with his or her problem, dilemma, frustration and need for resolve I go to me. When I hear it initially I ponder what might I do in this situation. However. Wrong. Because what I think, what I’ve experienced, what I think wisdom and good judgment require may completely ignore the inner space and personal needs of the other.

Which means when I can offer an opinion…DON’T.

Rather. Use the moment to LEARN the needs and perspective of the person sharing. And ask THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. Because it’s not about what I’d do or how I’d proceed. Rather, it is best…make that bestest, if I can help the other come to his/her own decision.

This is not academic. Currently, as you faithful blog readers have learned, our family’s dealing with some critical health issues. Currently, we are facing some decisions about how to….

Well, the personal situation[s] aren’t necessary to share.

But, for me personally, I need to get better at not offering advice. I need to get better at listening and at asking the right questions that help the other better perceive their own situation and needs…and if possible, to make their best decision on next steps. Because they are the one, not I, who must live with the next steps.

In all that, though, if I am asked specifically, “What would you do?” I would consider that an invitation…but only to respond with my own thoughts about the plus and minus of thinking on that last option.

So. Pioneer? Yes. But at times, especially when someone’s facing a critical personal decision—about nature of family dynamics, of vocational new considerations or of managing health issues…the best friend is the one who lives with the positive communication ratio of two ears and one mouth.


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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