Written by Reginald Smith, Director of Diversity CRCNA
In a recent book I read by best-selling author Bruce Feiler on navigating life changes, he suggested that the average adult might experience thirty-six disruptions in their lifetimes. Of the thirty-six, three to four of those disruptions would become major life altering experiences. That means every leader will undergo some kind of involuntary (or voluntary) major league curveball to either change the familiar course or rethink the meaning of their lives. Everything hinges on the choice made after the disruption.
Leaders stand before followers when the air of a major event leaks out energy or they get stuck on a treadmill of keeping some ministry going because of fear. Jesus seems to have always pushed his disciples and people who encountered him to say yes to life because every human being is thirsty for a life worth living and to make a difference in the world.
Check out these examples:
Jesus attracted a pair of brothers to trade in their fishing nets for a bigger catch of men and women (Matthew 4)
Two of John’s disciples followed Rabbi Jesus based on the testimony of their former rabbi who loved the desert life (John 1)
Large crowds followed Jesus for a sermon near a mountain and heard they were “blessed” (Matthew 5)
A paralytic man said yes to life when Jesus demolished a sinful life in exchange for a forgiven life (Luke 5)
A demon possessed man, a sick girl, and a dead woman said yes to life by the power of God’s leader (Mark 5)
Leaders say yes to life because Jesus has “the power to make the barren places bloom and strike water from the rock”. (Kathleen Norris) A leader’s optimism in God’s work can make a difference if people are going to say yes to new possibilities and dream new dreams.
Watching many of his people perish under the death factory known as the Holocaust, the late Viktor Frankel heard these lyrics sung that ”whatever (the) future may hold, we still say yes to life”. Become a leader who says yes to life!