It's been a busy one with lots of meetings. I think between Wed & Thurs alone I had eight meetings. Some one-on-ones and some group meetings. Some were very personal and some were strategic. Some filled me up and some were draining. In some of those meetings I was "just a guy" and in some of them I was "a church leader/elder."
There's really only one thread in common in all of the encounters: them, me, God.
It sounds elementary but I try to keep those three things in mind in every meeting. In every communal gathering there is the probability that they'll unknowingly bring in some junk and that I will unknowingly do the same. And then there's the high probability that God wants to use them to say something to me, and if God has really lost all His senses, he wants to use me to speak into them or to the situation.
And so lately in my attempt to keep my sanity, be effective and come somewhat close to living the life that God wants me to, I have taken to one of my mantra-prayers; little sentences that I say aloud or to myself throughout the day. This one is based on how Jesus answered the question, "What's the most important thing?!"
I pray: "God, help me to love you radically, others unconditionally, and myself appropriately."
I find that if I can live out of that focused prayer, I'm less likely to force my agenda, fail to listen to someone or marginalise them, think I know all the answers, or interact out of a funky view of myself.
Give it a try. Or make up your own mantra-prayer that fits your life.