I live in California. Earthquakes are common talk. We wonder when ‘the big one’ will hit. Earthquake preparedness is a must: schools participate in earthquake drills, companies host earthquake preparedness seminars and individuals prepare earthquake survival kits. We try to be as prepared as we can be for the inevitable. But when a 3.5 quake rattled our peaceful community, I was caught off guard. It happened early in the morning, I was in my bedroom making my bed and suddenly the floor underneath my feet shifted down, like an elevator’s sudden descent.
Articles | Love
I have an old and dear friend who will turn 86 before the end of this month. From time to time, he wonders if and how his life has made a difference.
He never married or had children, so he has no wife or children around to assure him – in either word or deed – that his life has mattered.
He was a professor of mine and an incredible presence on our college campus back in the tumultuous sixties, so I can say without reservation that his life has made a huge and wonderful difference in my own.
But he still wonders.
I remember a few years ago I overheard my preschool son tell his sister, my elementary aged daughter, “You are not the boss of me.” There was another time, this time, I was an employee. The woman who was my supervisor preferred the staff, those of us who were her employees - NOT call her the “boss.” She had become our supervisor, not by applying for the job or by promotion, but by default. Since no one else was qualified to take her position, she was in charge of us – her employees. And she did not like being the boss.
I Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, my soul; do not forget all the gifts of God,
Who pardons all your sins, heals all your ills,
Delivers your life from the pit, surrounds you with love and compassion,
Fills your days with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
- Psalm 103, 1-5
In 2003, Easter Sunday arrived on April 20. So did my heart attack.
A radio interviewer said, “I know you teach leadership, but you talk a lot about love. What’s love got to do with it?” My answer was simple. “Everything.” Love as a core value has everything to do with everything. We continued for the next hour talking about leaders who have chosen love as their core value and the difference they make in the lives of their followers.
I am a woman of many moods and they all require chocolate. If chocolate were prescribed for feelings, maybe dark chocolate would be given for occasional bouts of depression. With financial trouble, possibly chewy caramel and nuts with milk chocolate, or for stress - semi-sweet chocolate with rice krispies. So many emotions and so many chocolates, so little time. But am I hopelessly devoted to chocolate? Hardly. Though today’s variety of chocolate enticements might offer me a temporary emotional escape, the chocolate hangover and extra pounds are definitely not worth the indulgence.
I love you! This all familiar phrase is probably used hundreds…maybe even thousands of times a day. I love….my dog, my cat, my kids, my significant other, selfies, chocolate, running, football, sweet tea, binge watching….and the list goes on. What exactly are we saying when we say we love something?
“So, when are my pictures coming back?”
In the days before digital photography, we used disposable cameras in our family. I had given one to Jacob, our six-year-old son, to use on vacation, his first independent picture taking experience.
“Well, they’ll come back when I take the camera in to get the pictures developed. Just give it to me and I’ll take care of it.”
I could tell from his downcast expression that something was amiss.
“Oh. I threw it away last week. You said it was disposable.”
The next year will hold many triumphs and blessings. Our calendars are filling up, our mission is set, and our desire is to glorify God and lead like Jesus in all things.
Ah yes. Give glory and honor to God, and His Son Jesus. Regardless.
Along our leadership journey we will be confronted with disappointment. Whether it’s our disappointment or someone else’s, it doesn’t matter. Obstacles, setbacks, calamities and misfortune are a part of leading.
We need to continue to lead forward. But how?
5 Ways to Lead Forward
Are you feeling overwhelmed, overcome, overdrawn or overloaded? What about those you lead? Could they also feel like saying, “Stick a fork in me---I’m done.”?
Strife is everywhere; as leaders we feel it, and those we influence are also shaking under strife’s weight. We are all hungry for encouragement.
But what is encouragement and where do you find it?