Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our Unique Gift to Lead and Love

We are in the last day of July which is about mid way through summer. Some of us are taking vacations, enjoying the fruits of our labor. Some like me are taking a minivaction on a Sunday at the beach. I am here at Redondo Beach near the pier reflecting on my summer adventure at Holywood.

I gave a speech about a week ago in the Leadership class. This class specifically details leading like Jesus. I couldn't help but integrate what I learned thru strength finders and my top four gifts given by the almighty himself namely Command, Input, Activator, Connectedness and Self Assurance. What came of it was the following speech slightly modified. I hope it inspires and allows all of us to dig deeper into the glorious majesty and mystery of being made in God's image.

It is always true for me that when I hear and read hours of information there is always some things that stand out more than others.. If what I learning validates my experience it sticks more.
What have I learned?

First, I found it interesting that the servant leadership paradigm is being studied and implemented in our secular world. I found it both interesting and paradoxical that it seems to be effective. Paradoxical because our culture, despite being Christian and Catholic for so long, has not dared to embrace what Jesus taught until now. I know throughout most of my life I struggled between what I heard the culture telling me, my own nature and what Christ presented.

The surrender of the culture and my nature to open to what Christ presents was a decision I made only recently, and it is a daily decision and struggle. I know that emptying myself so that God can fill me is the truest path to discovering myself and my vocation. This leads me to the two attributes I find most attractive in leaders and characteristics I wish to hone for myself.

Humility and confidence. Humility makes me teachable, curious, open and present. The reality is I have infinity to learn and a finite amount of time to learn in this life. So being open to every opportunity whether in prayer or in my moment to moment life is a goal I strive for. It is also where I find God.

Confidence or self assurance is the knowledge that I am created by God in his image and that he loves me more than all of humanity, including myself, could ever love me. Just as importantly, that my experience of working the talents that God has given me has led to the affirmation of what I am capable of doing and the knowledge of the intrinsic worth of what God has created. It is my goal to keep combating the voices inside and out that deny both realities not only for myself but those around me.

Humility and confidence can lead me to a vision. John Paul II, Mother Theresa and MLK had both attributes in my view. Humility led them to their visions by seeing, hearing and feeling what the world needed most. They graciously rose to the call. Their confidence in God and their call led them to their courage. And these attributes led to deeds and words that inspired, motivated and impacted the world in deep and significant ways. Humility and confidence led to passion, kindness, integrity, self sacrifice and a unique experience of what it means to love for them individually.

In discerning my call as a leader it always helps to humble myself before God's glorious power and have him lift me up to see the needs around me that impact me the most and call to me. Then my courage can be effectively applied to say what needs to be said and do the things that need to be done. May we all embrace our unique gift to lead and love from Our Father in Heaven.


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