Confronting Challenges


“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

– Luke [22:42]



A young man in his early thirties, late at night in an ancient Judean garden, asks, “Are you sure this is the only way?” This was the third time during the evening the young man had returned to the garden. Each time with the same request, “Are you sure?” The fullness of his humanity exposed and somber, he was sweating to the point of bleeding. Finally relenting, he gives in to the task by saying, “Not my will, but yours.” He knew what lay ahead. Betrayal by his friends and humiliation in front of his community. A long, agonizing beating that would tear skin from his back. Followed by an arduous trek carrying his cross to a hill. Where he would finally be put to death. A gruesome task he had to accomplish to create a connected relationship for humanity with God. He was creating a flower for humankind called Easter.

How many times in our work lives are we faced with difficult choices? The choice between momentary safety and doing what’s right. While none our decisions have the drama of Jesus’s prayer in the garden, there are strong parallels. We have to tell our boss bad news and bear the burden of delivering the news. We are internally and externally coaxed to sugarcoat what we have to say. Perhaps blame someone else. Or even conceal the news. All these shortcuts will avoid that moment of having to deliver a tough message. The walk to deliver the news will seem like an eternity. Each breath and thought will hang thickly, almost choking us. But we have a choice and we have an example from the garden. We have all been in this spot.

Consider Sherron Watkins, the executive who delivered the bad news about Enron. Shortly afterward she became a pariah with the insiders at Enron. Her daily life was difficult and lonely. As time wore on and the issues she revealed came fully to light, she became a model for corporate integrity. In 2001 she was named one of Time magazine’s People of the Year.

“Not my will, but yours.”

Confronting the natural challenges in the marketplace is an everyday job. Many times tough and uneasy decisions have to be made. We are fortunate we have the example of Jesus in the garden to model. Through our daily prayers and relationship with God, we become emboldened and confident in decision making. Not fearing the temporary pain that is often associated with a tough decision, but sure in our faith that God is with us.

Blessing, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman



What tough decisions do we have to make today?

Do they help our neighbor?

Are we thinking of ourselves or making the right choice?