“Be leaders wherever it behooves you to be. Leaders of thought, leaders of action, leaders of joy, leaders of hope, leaders of the construction of a better world.”
After facilitating various groups for more than a decade, sometimes you feel like you are watching the same movie on repeat. Whenever a project or initiative requires substantial change, there’s always this lovely honeymoon where everyone listens respectfully to each other’s observations of what is. Nodding heads, supportive murmurs, it’s relatively easy for everyone to accept the current state. Then the honeymoon quickly ends. What will the future be? It never fails, after either waiting in awkward silence or deflecting comments around insignificant points, someone in the group will offer a substantive next step, a proposal, a way forward. Blood in the water. Others will pounce on the potential issues, highlighting the laundry list of imperfections or ticking off the countless details that have not yet been thought through in order to invalidate the overall merit of the idea. Whoever goes first becomes a target. Having been the subject of target practice myself once or twice, I try my best when facilitating to give the brave soul’s idea some space to breathe before it’s engulfed in waves of negativity. While facilitating one such interaction recently, I couldn’t help but think to myself, "First is the worst. Why subject yourself to it?" Then I saw the crucifix in the reflection of my computer screen. Someone has to go first.
In my leadership and discipleship, where am I being called to go first rather than to wait until it’s all clear? What’s preventing me from making that necessary sacrifice? Even if the situation doesn’t call me to be a first mover, am I open to the opportunity to be the first follower? Will I stand with someone out on a ledge because I believe they are moving bravely in the right direction? Assessing the present situation well is a gift. Moving forward toward what needs to be, despite the gaps, risks, and unreadiness, is faith. Prayers for your first moves this week.