Saturday, October 6, 2012

Decisions = Division

A couple weeks ago I listened to a message about youth leadership. At one point the speaker said something that was intriguing. It was one of those things that you go 'hmmm' at, and then ponder it for a while. He said, "when you decide, you always divide...when you make decisions you will always divide can't please everyone". When I first heard that I thought 'yeah that's good', but it wasn't until this past week that I truly understood what that meant and how much it applies to life in general and not just in leadership.

First a little back story. At my workplace, several employees have been in the process of trying to start a union for over a month. The last three weeks have been filled with mandatory meetings about why we should vote no and the supposed atrocities of collective bargaining. The emotional stress level of everyone has been pretty high. My co-worker has been one of the ring leaders in getting this thing going. I was in agreement with her about it for almost the entire time. The vote for whether we should have a union or not was yesterday. For the last three weeks at work, there has been such division amongst the employees. Relationships were being tested and people were picking sides. I hadn't really made a decision about which way I was going to vote until ten minutes before I did it, however I had been mainly on the side in favor of a union.

Two days before the election I got an incredible sinking feeling that going through with a union may not be the best choice for our center right now. The first thing I thought was 'how am I gonna tell ___ that I have changed my mind?". She was probably gonna be mad and/or disappointed. How would that effect our relationship? She has told me before how she is slow to trusting people who screw her over. I had given my word that I would vote yes. Not making a decision tortured me for days. I knew I didn't have to tell her, but I felt like that was being dishonest and an ungodly thing to do. And lying was out of the question, although contemplated.

I finally got up the courage before going and voting to talk it over with her. It was petrifying and the hardest thing to do. I hate disappointing people, and this was someone I work with 5 days a week for at least 6 hours every day. Would our working relationship be ruined? What kind of division would it bring? And that's when I got it. I understood how the principle being talked about in the message applies to everyday life.

Every decision we make creates a division because not everyone is going to agree with you. Decisions that I delayed making in my past started coming to mind and the divisions that they caused once decided. And the longer I waited to make those decisions, the greater the division was. Sometimes it was a division within myself. Letting go of a past thought process or stereotype or judgement. Let that sink in. Division can happen within you where you let go of something old. Wow...that is powerful. An added revelation, praise Jesus.

I could go into the healing that takes place when division occurs, but we'll save that for another time. Division isn't always bad, in fact a lot of times it's good. When I decided to tell my co-worker what I was honestly thinking it brought division because of a difference of opinion, but we are still able to have a relationship even though we disagreed on something. And there was a division inside me between the fear of stepping out and standing up and doing what's right.