Take a few minutes to meditate on this lovely poem by William Stafford (1914–1993). It lays out the indispensable foundation for both the Christian life and great leadership. The Way It Is There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.
This comes from Archbishop Oscar Romero who was killed in his church in El Salvador by a right-wing death squad on March 24th, 1980 out of his commitment to the poor. It expresses my prayer for Rich and NLF as we prepare for his installation on Sunday. A Future Not Our Own It helps, now and then, to step backand take the long view.The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction ofthe magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.Nothing we do is complete,which is another way of sayingthat the kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said.No prayer fully expresses our faith.No confession brings perfection.No pastoral visit brings wholeness.No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about:We plant seeds that one day will grow.We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold. Read more.
I received a letter recently that I wrote to myself after a 3 day retreat over seven months ago. It reminded me again that I am the most difficult person for me to lead! The following are a few rich nuggets of gold from this short letter: 1. Remember what you are all about. (In my case, it was to take 30-50% of my time to write). 2. Guard your spirit from trifles, fast from overconsuming, and forget what others think. (See “The Woodcarver” story). 3. Feel your own weight and density. There is no need to wear other people’s faces (See the poem, “Now I Become Myself”). 4. Go to the fields and be lovely. Come back when you are through with blooming. (See the poem entitled, “Camas Lillies). 5. Stay the course and be kind to yourself. For a free sermon I preached on what it means to live a life where. Read more.
Poetry has a wonderful way to draw out of us our true self before God. Read the following poem slowly, prayerfully. Listen to what God might be saying to you today about His will for you. The Wisdom of the Deer …a deer standing before me shamelessly telling me by his presence through his very manner of being there what I did was all I could do what I did was truly all I could do. the deer didn’t move for what seemed like the longest time kept standing there unflinching regal as if the fallen leaves adorning his great hall were lush earthen carpet and I had been grated a brief audience with a nobility whose lineage was pure and undefiled and then I understood the wisdom of the deer the secret to my own dignity all I have ever been is all I will ever need I must look back And. Read more.