Working on a Dream




Thursday, July 27, 2017

Good Morning, fellow Lepers.

Good morning, fellow Lepers
Joseph Damien was a nineteenth-century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Molokai, Hawaii.

Those suffering grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them. 

One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water into a cup when the water swirled out and fell onto his bare foot. It took him a moment to realize that he had not felt any sensation. Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot. Again, there was no feeling whatsoever. Damien immediately knew what had happened. 

As he walked to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the difference in his opening line. He normally began every sermon with, 'My fellow believers,' but this morning he began with... 'My fellow lepers.' 
                                                                               (Story told by Ravi Zacharias)

Damien could fully relate to the lepers because he became a leper. He knew personally the struggles that they faced. He could actually feel their pain. Let's think about Jesus for a moment. He was made like us and therefore understands the hurts we experience.  According to the book of Hebrews, we learn, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." 

I think I can speak for everyone in regards to our need for a Savior that identifies with our human struggles. Isn't it comforting to know that the frustrations we carry, the sorrows compounded in our hearts and even our failures can be understood by the God-Man, Jesus Christ?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why I'm [severely] Unbalanced.

No. I am not talking about having one leg longer than the other or a lop-sided head.

I am talking about my personality & skill set. Now I know that admitting this to you right up front may cause you to pause and scratch your head. Nevertheless, since you are reading this, you and I have some sort of a relationship, so I think it proper to let you know this about me right up front.

See, I am not well-rounded. I am rather obtuse.

And I like it that way.

There is the conventional wisdom going around that is telling people that they should be men and women that seek conformity.  You know the saying, "The nail that stands out gets hammered back in." That's right: be the lame, sorry, boring nail that's in the wood.  Pardon me as I take a nap. No thanks. I'll stand out. Sure it's risky. But tell me, what in your life has made any kind of impact that was not risky?  Recently, I finished up a great little book by Peter Drucker and in it he shared a similar lesson.  During the Civil War, President Lincoln appointed 3 or 4 Generals before General Grant.  He chose the men due to their well-rounded background, personality and skills. And guess what? From 1861 to 1864, the North did not make any headway -that is until Grant commanded the troops.  Grant was known for his capable planning and leading winning campaigns. He was also known, however, for his temper and love for the bottle. Drucker said that Lincoln chose Grant not, "for his sobriety, rather for his ability to win battles."

This is true in any organization.  If you hire a person / staff to avoid weakness, then do not be surprised if you end up with mediocrity. Hiring for well-roundness is a sure recipe for a vanilla workplace.  Strong people have peaks and valleys. Sometimes very high peaks and very low valleys.
But at least you get something spectacular.

Think of the greatest basketball player to ever walk the court, Micheal Jordan (please don't argue this point, just accept this as a reality). Jordan lit up the NBA like no other. He has the titles, MVP's and records to back it up.  He also had this thing about him when he played ... your team would lose and his would win. It was hard growing up in the 90's as anything but a Bulls fan.
Remember how Michael Jordan quit basketball in the mid 90's to pursue baseball?  BASEBALL! He played for a minor league team, I believe it was the Chicago White Sox. Let's just say that no one wanted "To be like Mike" when he wore spikes.  On the wood Jordan couldn't be stopped. On the diamond, he couldn't get going. He found out that he needed to stick to what he did best, crushing people in a game of hoops.

See, for some reason we learn how to get A's when we are little and once we do, we are afraid to do anything outside of the box. The reason is because we just want an A.  So we get all the instructions out for our science project and follow all the rules.  Then on the day of the fair, we create the same stale volcano that all the other kids made too.  Forget that.  Forget the volcano. Turn the school into a flying object or something awesome.  Sure, you might flunk and get sent home to get evaluated, but people will have to pick up their jaws when you are done. And that my friend, is the type of person you should endeavor to be. 

And If you think that I am off my rocker a bit, I'd just have you turn to First Peter 2:9 where the apostle teaches that God's people are called to be, "a peculiar people."  

SO, you see, Yes, I am unbalanced and I like it that way.
I am the nail that continues to stick out ... but I've got an inkling that you already knew that.