‘Great leaders know themselves very deeply: they’ve come to grips with who they are, their strengths but also their inner demons. But even though they reflect deeply on themselves, leaders don’t get stuck inside themselves: they get over themselves, and live to serve others. So those would be the first two commitments that great leaders make: to confront themselves deeply, but then to serve others.’ –Chris Lowney on Pope Francis from Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads
I love this quote. It speaks to my journey. For the past year I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about leadership. Every time I take any kind of spiritual gifts questionnaire or other talents test, it comes up on top. For awhile, I denied it. Too scary. Too much responsibility. Too much work. I just want a regular old life.
Sometime ago I realized that I was suffering from what I now call the “Moses Complex”. It would go like this: I pray that God show me what he wants me to do. Something comes along and I really don’t want to do it. So I message back to God, “I can’t do that!” Return message, “Well, Ellen you keep asking me what I want you to do. Do you think I would ask you to do something without giving you the talents and gifts you need? What are you really afraid of?” My response (read this with a tiny, embarrassed whisper of shame), “Oh, well…uh, no, I guess not. Sorry God.”
Ouch. Double ouch. I’ve been caught. Wanting to do what God’s will is, but only if I like God’s will…Ouch again. Hate it when I see myself clearly.
So, I have been confronting myself lately. And listening more deeply. And doing things that I was pretty sure I couldn’t. All in the area of leadership. Not just the public kind of leadership, but the important personal kind of leadership. The kind where you look at your “stuff” and find that it has to get cleaned up before you will be fit to serve others for God.
Some cool stuff has happened and will be happening. I’ll keep you in the loop.
I leave you with this. Look at yourself lovingly with the gaze of Christ’s compassion. Clean out the closet your soul sits in. Listen to your soul. Let it guide you to where your gifts will be used for the glory of God…you will be happier than you can imagine.