Everywhere I look chaos reigns.
Our world has spiraled into confusion, contempt, and confrontation when our better selves would choose compassion, courage, and community.
Desperate for change, we seek leadership — on every level.
But what kind of leaders do we need today for home, church, workplace, school, town, government, and country?
And what could we possibly say to such people of influence?
For myself, obedience begins by praying…. “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.” 1 Timothy 2.1-3 MSG
Irish writer John O’Donohue published words a dozen years ago that pretty much contain all I pray for myself and other leaders. Today I share them with you:
For a Leader May you have the grace and wisdom To act kindly, learning To distinguish between what is Personal and what is not. May you be hospitable to criticism. May you never put yourself at the center of things. May you act not from arrogance but out of service. May you work on yourself, Building up and refining the ways of your mind. May those who work for you know You see and respect them. May you learn to cultivate the art of presence In order to engage with those who meet you. When someone fails or disappoints you, May the graciousness with which you engage Be their stairwell to renewal and refinement. May you treasure the gifts of the mind Through reading and creative thinking So that you continue as a servant of the frontier Where the new will draw its enrichment from the old, And you never become a functionary. May you know the wisdom of deep listening, The healing of wholesome words, The encouragement of the appreciative gaze, The decorum of held dignity, The springtime edge of the bleak question. May you have a mind that loves frontiers So that you can evoke the bright fields That lie beyond the view of the regular eye. May you have good friends To mirror your blind spots. May leadership be for you A true adventure of growth. -John O’Donohue “To Bless the Space Between Us” (2008)
I may respect a certain leader or disdain that person; but regardless of feelings, I embrace the “healing of wholesome words” when I speak such words over them.
under the mercy, Lucinda
©2020 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouragement at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
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