July 17, 2017: Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader

"One cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one's life.  Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God!" ~Pope Francis

Last week, I had the privilege of joining 3,000 other Catholic leaders from around the country for a national convocation in Orlando.  While there was a plethora of topics and speakers, my biggest takeaway was that I am a terrible participant.  I might know something about leadership, but I have a hard time following.  It was difficult, dare I say, unnatural, for me to sit, listen, and digest.  If I wasn't thinking of the savvy point I could make, I caught myself instinctively critiquing the experience.  By the end of two days, I was exhausted by the discipline of keeping my mind and heart open, by allowing myself to be led.  The experience made me grateful for the gift of followership - those disciples whose trust is so deep in the Lord, that it overflows into those they encounter and exemplifies that "tangible witness".  Among the many blessings that came from being a part of that historic event was the important reminder that, in this sacred line of work, you can't lead if you don't follow.