Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On Offering What We Don't Have

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain," shrieked the phony wizard. Of course, we too can hide behind the false self . Why not just give up on the impossible task of showing people the way to a place we've never been! Preaching until you have faith may have been helpful spiritual counsel for John Wesley from his Moravian spiritual director; but it's far from a universal dictate. So, if one size doesn't fit all, why do we make it so?

Some might call it avoidance, that is, running away from your own issues by projecting the problem onto others. Among other things, becoming an escape artist or a master of projection blinds us to the log in our own eye. Instead, we could use this season as a way to refocus. See the "cloud of witnesses" for what it is: an encouragement to choose what is truly life-giving here and now so that we can be there for others in a way that is healing and loving. But first see life and choose life for yourself. We cannot offer what we do not have.

The quality of leadership is determined by the quality of our interior life- with God. So the question is: how is it working- that is- what is my spiritual practice producing? Discerning the right practice for us will result in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Faking it will only lead to guilt and disillusionment and desolation. We only need to make the choice to know the love and grace that is ours for the taking.

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