Daily Thoughts, October 19, 2005
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I have been in “negotiations” for the last several months, lifetimes really.  The good news rests in the fact several are now complete, yet there are a few still ongoing.  The process is exhausting.  The conversations can be frequently tedious.  The commitment from both parties is often missing.  The harsh reality is the commentary running in my head.  I find myself echoing God’s observations of long ago; “Meetings for this, meetings for that.  I hate them!  You've worn me out!  I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning.” (Isaiah 1.14)
Do we want to do a deal or not?  Are we committed to the ideas or not?  Is our heart going to catch up with and match our rhetoric and gestures?  Frankly it isn’t clear.
In my growing experience base one thing is clear.  Negotiations are, in large part, about patience, confidence, and belief.  One must never react to the immediate; always move with one eye on the bigger picture.  No matter what happens keep an eye on the goal; it is easy to get lost in the rhetoric and postures of the present.  Understand, reflect, and affirm one’s goal(s); life isn’t about winning every moment.
I wonder if I listen to my own counsel.  Far too often I find myself pushing, struggling to win, and battling to make self first.  Values and priorities take second place.  Discipline is frequently forgotten or left behind.  Chaos reigns.
In the past months, even as recently as the last few days, I have had great reminders of what is really important.  To those involved I owe a debt of thanks.  To others touched by my carelessness please accept my apologies.  To the special people who share the journey; you are bearers of hope, mercy, and love. 
As the sun dawns on a new day I can anticipate the negotiations now marching into the present.  I see things differently; compassion, community, and commitment are the keys for today and tomorrow.  I look forward filled with Divinity’s gifts for you and me.  We can all win.

October 18, 2005
October 20, 2005