It has been quite awhile since my last post. Too much going on in my life to recount all that has happened. Who would have imagined that I could learn so much about myself and others on the eve of age 50? I just want to make a few observations for any interested readers:
1) We are shaped by family, faith, education, environment, cultural context, hopes, dreams and situations; and, how we respond to family, faith, education, environment, cultural context, hopes, dreams and situations. No, we are not a 'blank slate', waiting to be written upon, but it can seem that way sometimes. As a Christian, I believe all humans have an 'eternal' theological purpose. Outright evasion of, or engagement with that purpose, shapes us as well.
2) Life is lived as a fine balance between worldview, character and dreams; and these elements can sometimes be knocked out of balance by externally imposed, as well as self-imposed pressure. This can cause a myriad of dysfunctions in our lives.
3) Leadership is a dance. Successful leadership requires sharp vision, a soft tongue, thick skin, quick analysis, deep reflection and calculated movement. Successful Christian leadership requires all of the above; plus: a vibrant faith, spiritual gifts, a willingness to forgive and to ask for forgiveness, and, a continued reliance upon the grace of God.
4) Communication is everything. The manner in which we communicate is often the root of dysfunction. The substance of what we communicate is sometimes secondary. I've watched two friendships die because of poor communication.
5) Emotional and spiritual pain is not any easier to manage as you get older.
6) Tough decisions require tough people.
7) Sometimes you just have to walk away; and that is never easy.
That is all.