Weekly Thought – March 21, 2017
Fred was trusted. His ability to listen accompanied by his discernment created an atmosphere of safety. While in dialysis he developed friendships with the nurses and technicians. One young woman reached her twelve month sober mark and prepared for her ceremony at AA. “Would you be the speaker for me?” Fred traveled in his wheelchair to her meeting and delivered a powerful, personal address.
Want To, Not Just Have To
A man I know – a very successful professional – paid fifty thousand dollars, cash on the barrel head, to go to an alcoholism clinic. One of the most discerning things I’ve ever heard came from a staff psychiatrist at the facility: “For a long time people couldn’t understand how a man could be an alcoholic, sober up, stay sober for ten years, and then go back to drinking. People would say, ‘Surely he knew all the problems he had as a drunk, why would he go back?’”
The doctor went on to say: “We studied it and found out. People who give up alcohol, but only remain abstainers can be drawn back to drinking at any time. Those who go from abstinence to the joy of sobriety seldom return to drinking. But until they make that transition, they are vulnerable.”
There is a theological truth here. If all I have in life is work and more work trying to make myself good, then I may cave in the spiritual war at any time. If I understand the sovereignty of God and the power of grace, my life will be changed forever. Like the Apostle Paul, a grace filled life sees the struggles as challenges but ones filled with the presence of God, and not dependent on my own efforts or goodness. Once Paul tasted of grace nothing could woo him back to “the law” again. He moved to the joy of grace.
Many executives and other leaders battle in the same way. They struggle and suffer with their efforts to overcome disabling habits. They fight, win a bit, fight again, and continue this pattern. The Myth of Sisyphus tells the story of an ill-fated young man whose life work is to push a large rock up a hill, only to have it roll back on him just as he reaches the peak. Over and over he repeats this effort, never to get the rock up and over the hill.
Leaders need to identify their constructive strengths and their destructive weaknesses. Once defined, they should focus on the strengths and bolster the weaknesses. Once we create an environment and a lifestyle that allows this, we can run the race with joy, not just with gritted jaws.
This week think about: 1) Where have I moved from abstaining to joy? 2) What is the rock I need to abandon? 3) Who can help me identify my strengths and weaknesses?
Words of Wisdom: “If I understand the sovereignty of God and the power of grace, my life will be changed forever.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8: 10 (b) NET Bible)