It has been 14 days since I felt in control.
For the last 14 days I have been recovery from a tonsillectomy. I have not been able to work. I have been quite dependent upon my family for sustenance and space to heal and my partners in ministry to carry on the responsibilities of shepherding youth and children at Hayward Wesleyan. I cannot tell you how much it feels that I am letting people down by my absence. I cannot tell you how unimportant I feel right now. How incredibly behind in my work I am. Perhaps it is in my current state that Nouwen’s words pierce my heart:
“The way of the Christian leader is not the way of upward mobility in which our world has invested so much, but the way of downward mobility ending on the cross” (1996, p. 50).
I sense in my weakness a need to be needed—a need to be relevant, popular, and powerful. In my mind, it is not desired to head on the downward path of mobility, but rather up the Christian popularity train toward influence and clout. Perhaps this season of weakness and the intersection of Nouwen’s words are God’s way of reminding me how much more important the way of the cross is than any Christian mountain climbing.
Perhaps, living “out of my control” is crucial to living under “God’s control.”
Nouwen, H. J. M. (1996). In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing Company.