Monday, March 9, 2015

Attached

Leadership. 

Tough Word, tough job...especially if you want to do it right.  I have been forgoing my mountain of paperwork, accounting, reports, Church support reporting and more in the office for the last week, trying to instead give more time to face to face leadership issues. 

I have come to one conclusion:  I suck at this. 

This is no self-deprecation or trying to put myself down.  It is a stark, honest look inside. 

I try, I will continue to try, I will change, I have changed, I have bent and gone in directions I would have never thought possible, but sometimes I see in the faces of those around me that it is not enough, not what they need, both, or worse.  When I am trying to do things better...am I making it worse?   

Good leaders seem to always know what to do, at least they do on TV.  I was reminded of an episode of Star Trek TNG, "Attached" where the captain of the ship and the doctor have been linked telepathically.  They are trying to escape the captors who have so linked them for nefarious purposes, but discovering they now know what the other is really thinking. 

[Doctor...trying to figure out the path to take]
Captain: [checking the map] This way.
[moves on]
Doctor: You don't really know, do you?
Captain: What?
Doctor: I mean, you're acting like you know exactly which way to go, but you're only guessing. Do you do this all the time?
Captain: No, but there... are times when it is necessary for a captain to give the appearance of confidence.

I suppose that may be true for captains or leaders in life or death situations, but the truth is that I think more of us, leaders or not, feel like we have to give this air of knowledge rather than admit sometimes...

"I feel just as lost as you are!"

I am on the path the Lord has for us.  I have faith that is so.  I try to walk it, and have learned a few things along the way.  But wow does it not feel like enough. 

I check the map, I look left and right, and sometimes in the absence of other direction, I have to pick a course.  Part of that is natural I think...if we thought we were doing peachy keen by ourselves, it would be much easier to take our eyes off His way. 

When we ask for prayers for God's wisdom, direction, and leading...it is no joke.  There are big things He is doing here, and I am continually conscious  about being in the way sometimes, or the attacks that come from the other side.  When should I be closed and focused, versus being open to any change that comes along?  When to stick to my guns versus surrender to outside forces?  What is needed change versus change for change sake?  What hurts and must be done, versus spares feelings and ends up hurting more in the end?  Should we build A first or B?  Which color to paint rooms?  Who to put where?  When to move?  When to stay?  When to speak up?  When to keep quiet? 

I would love to put my head down, go move some dirt or build something or clean something...just do something without thinking about it.  I love opportunities (they are so few and far between) when I can be in a group of people that do not know me and not be expected or to feel the expectation, that I direct a meeting, a conversation, or make any decisions.  I can revel in that awkward silence waiting for someone to speak when I know it does not need to be.  To just sit back and let someone else be the bad guy or the one to start talking.  Ahhhhh. 

But ultimately...we all  have a desire for answers, to know what we are doing is right, or to know when we are screwing up.  Is this right?  Why?  Like Moses, Job, Paul and a bunch of other rehabilitating screw ups over the years, we are greeted with another paradoxically satisfying and at the same time unsatisfying reply of 2 Corinthians 12:9 to similar cries "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 

So I will carry on...weak (and sucky)...that somehow in it in a way I do not fully understand...He might be strong. 

In case you were wondering...for another paradox of sorts...I am smiling as I write all this.  As another screwup philosopher once famously said..."Good grief" 


 

2 comments:

Trish Saintelus said...

I see that smile ... it speaks louder than words.

Kenton Colby said...

Well said good and faithful servant.