On Suffering (and Pre-Suffering)

I wrote this in May 2014 …

What do we do with this?

I also loved this from a more recent blog post on suffering. Jonathan Parnell wrote the post but the quote is attributed to The Pipes.

Suffering is nothing more than the taking away of bad things or good things that the world offers for our enjoyment — reputation, esteem among peers, job, money, spouse, sexual life, children, friends, health, strength, sight, hearing, success, etc.

When these things are taken away (by force or by circumstance or by choice), we suffer. But if we have followed Paul and the teaching of Jesus and have already counted them as loss for the surpassing value of gaining Christ, then we are prepared to suffer.

The part that is crushing, to me, is that little two-word phrase at the end of the parentheses.

By choice.

I’m not sure if I’d rather adopt this attitude and thus, lifestyle, or be able to write like Rutherford (The Great King keeps his wine there…!) but there was a whole host of destruction in the depths of my heart when I encountered these words.

I hope there was in yours, too.

On Leadership

I feel confident that I am good at a handful of things. I do not feel confident that leadership is one of them. This list of 16 lessons learned in leadership was an eye-opener to me, and all of them are great.

Probably 5-6 really popped though, and maybe none more than this one.

Limitations force leaders to make choices. Whether you lead a team of two or 2,000, you cannot, and should not, do everything. Refer to your vision, values, and strategy. What is central to the mission? Memorize and protect those things. Don’t let the good eat the great. Rehearse and guard your priorities. [TGC]

I have struggled not just to point to our mission in the sphere of places where I lead but sometimes to even know what that mission is. Same for vision, values and strategy. Something I want to get better at as I lead into the future.

On Growing Platforms

I saw this — ironically? — on Twitter this week, and I thought it was really true and also really encouraging. Something I certainly need to be more wary of in my own life. And I think I’m talking more about the studying another’s excellencies than studying my own infirmities.