Introducing Miss De Cline

Published 6:01 pm Friday, April 16, 2021

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Let me introduce you to an acquaintance of mine. I’d be willing to bet that you may have already met. She hangs in the shadows causing woes and regrets. Never in a hurry, she takes her dear sweet time. Once you realize her effects on you, you’ll be crying. Her name is Miss De Cline.

Decline happens gradually. It appears to sneak up on us but really the cause and effect is evident. I often wonder how we are so attentive to the result of decline but so comfortable in the making of it. Whatever caused things such as the waning of health, reduction in school grade point average or unsatisfactory appearance of your garden? I know you wish you could turn back the hands of time and correct it. We cannot. Instead, we must determine the way ahead. Asking ourselves, “where do I go from here and what is the way to fix this mess?” I find that it is often that task to manage our mess that brings us face to face with regret. It’s hard to reverse decline.


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In some way or another, we have all been dealing with decline in this era of COVID-19.

Considering the effort to reverse the effects of the past year, I believe we are all enduring an introspective, evolving journey to determine the next right move. The truth is that some of us need help figuring that out. You may need a lifeline. We can solicit the help of teachers, mentors, coaches, counselors and consultants.

I recently made the acquaintance of renowned career coach, Matthew Warzel, after he read an article I wrote about the pandemic resume. In our correspondence, we discussed his work to help job seekers execute the steps to get to where they need to be or want to go. As he conducts assessment briefings with his clients he asks questions to help them discover an “A-ha moment” that is the core inspiration to help them make the next move. He asked, “How many hours of your day go towards personal fulfillment and development? What are the remaining hours dedicated to, and is that a wise use of your time?” I personally had a difficult time working through all the pieces just being honest with myself.

Matt’s question convicted me to acknowledge that wisdom in the use of time directly impacts development and productivity. Developing and producing is the opposite of decline.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be wise in our living, but especially in our use of time. He doesn’t want us to waste it. The Message translation of Ephesians 5:11-17 explains it this way.

“Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,

Climb out of your coffins;

Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.”


QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Connect with her via or via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.