Friday, February 22, 2008

Lent '08 - Day 15: Stepping First

It's been basketball mania here for us. We were at the Sonics verses Blazers game tonight to see Brandon Roy. Tomorrow we'll be at the UW verses Arizona State game. While at these games, I have been watching fans when it comes to cheering or dancing. Usually, a group of people will look up and down the row at each other to see who is going to participate. Maybe you can relate with the shared hesitancy to be the first to act. As soon as one person starts though, the rest of the group begins to follow.

This reminded me of my favorite type of leadership: leading by example. I'm not particularly good at casting vision or recognizing and harnessing people's strengths, but I can step out and do something in my personal life when I know it's the right thing to do. It definitely helps to have other people to follow or do it with, but I'm not dependent on them. I can be the first person to stand up. When I make those decisions, I'm not conscious of the impact that my example may be having. It's a personal, me and God, decision. That others are spurred on is a bonus. Being reminded of the effect my life can have on others simply by the decisions I make is important. Decisions are one more thing that have to be looked at through the "good stewardship" lens. They can't be looked at from a me-only perspective.

I wonder how many times we have been placed in situations by God to act so that our actions will unlock others to find freedom in obedience. Certainly living balls to the wall includes obeying those small nudges to talk with someone on the bus, invite a difficult coworker out to lunch, to give up a pleasurable activity for the service of others. I exhort us all (myself included) to respond when we feel those small urges regardless of how silly they may feel. Our response may very well be affecting more than just ourselves.

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