“The media only writes about the sinners and the scandals, he said, but that’s normal, because ‘a tree that falls makes more noise than a forest that grows.’”
– Pope Francis
A word that has quickly crept into the vernacular is the word, “vibe.” Not only are my teenagers constantly commenting on the “vibe” of a person or situation but recently, I’ve heard newscasters and even my parents’ friends throwing out the term. A quick Google dictionary search on my part revealed that a “vibe” is “a person’s emotional state or the atmosphere of a place as communicated to and felt by others.”
The vibe of my week was “problems.” It seemed like every conversation at home and certainly at work was someone bringing me a problem to be aware of or to solve. I had the blessing of a long drive toward the end of the week, and I used the time to commiserate (or so I thought) with another leader friend of mine. “Why is leadership predominantly being brought problems?” I asked in a typical Dan Cellucci “woe is me” fashion. Then mocking my kids, I said, “I’m tired of this vibe!”
My friend patiently listened and acknowledged that it sounded like I was having a bad week. Then he challenged me: “Could it be that the proportion of problems you’re getting is the vibe you’re giving?” I was shocked at his critique, masked as a question, and impatiently asked him to elaborate. He said, “Think about your interactions last week or last month, Dan. How many times have they concentrated around concerns, needs, and challenges? Perhaps the vibe you’re feeling is the reverberation of yourself.”
In the moment, I disagreed vehemently. But as I continued my drive, I started to reflect on my last month. Whether with my kids or my colleagues, how often did I lead with a problem? What was the vibe I brought to a situation or relationship? When it came to my relationship with the Lord, did I start with gratitude, with an acknowledgement of who He is to me, and who He is to the world?
If I am living a Christ-centered, intentional life, what should my reverberations feel like to those around me? What is the “vibe” of my discipleship? As we move into the “Ordinary Time,” let’s make sure our vibe in the world is anything but ordinary!
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