I love it when I get caught by surprise.
I got up this morning a little early so I could read a little more Niebuhr and perhaps plant a seed tha
t would grow into my blog post for tonight. I came away well fed by a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I am known. And now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
I marked up the margins with notes to go along with his challenging words about the pace of change we face andhow we keep some sense of ourselves and our connectedness, both globally and close up, and how we are to embrace the uncertainty of life in order for our faith to be substantial.
Trust in God also means trust in life itself, despite the obvious patches of meaninglessness which sometimes drive us to the edge of despair. If we do not admit that these patches of meaninglessness are there, then our faith becomes sentimental. (32-33)
Where was I? Oh, yes — getting caught by surprise.
I finished reading, finished my breakfast, and headed for work. Our mornings at the computer store often begin with a word of challenge or encouragement; this morning, I arrived to find everyone gathered around a computer monitor to watch a TED Talk by a guy named Drew Dudley. The talk was almost over when I got there, and I arrived in time to hear him say,
There is no world only 6 billion understandings of it. And if you change one person’s understanding of it, you’ve changed the whole thing.
I’d been sitting and scribbling at the computer for about an hour tonight when I remembered I had written down that quote, and so I found his talk and watched the whole thing. He calls for a new definition of leadership that teeters on the same precipice of sentimentality and is also wonderfully challenging. Here’s the talk:
After listening to Dudley, my mind and heart are filled with lollipop moments, with the faces of people I need to call or write and say thank you because those encounters are the ones that encouraged me to trust God and trust life; to stare down the meaninglessness, or even embrace it; to trust the Love will not let us go.
I’m carrying these words with me:
We need to redefine leadership as being about lollipop moments, how many of them we create, how many of them we acknowledge, how many of them we pay forward, and how many of them we say thank you for. Because we’ve made leadership about changing the world, and there is no world. There’s only six billion understandings of it, and if you change one person’s understanding of it, one person’s understanding of what they’re capable of, one person’s understanding of how much people care about them, one person’s understanding of how powerful an agent for change they can be in this world, you’ve changed the whole thing.
. . . and the greatest of these is love.