Walking in Freedom

Miscellaneous musings along the way

Enter Into Their Pain December 21, 2012

Just finished a book about leadership and followership by John Perkins and Shane Claiborne titled “Follow Me to Freedom.”  The biggest idea that stood out to me was that a good leader leads out of the pain he feels for the people who are following him (or her).  When your passion turns into a person- their character and experiences, and especially Teen Angstthey’re pain- then you are at a place to lead.

 

Who better to look to on this than Jesus?

“He was despised and rejectedby men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted withgrief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.”

-Isaiah 53:3-5 (ESV)

Our Savior knows pain.  He chose to enter into a world permeated with pain.  He not only bore the pain of rejection, but “he has borne our griefs.”  Before you were born, before youjesus-on-the-cross even knew your pain, he bore it- ultimately, on the cross where “he was pierced for our transgressions.”  In a strange twist, this climactic act of cruelty is the very event that opens the door to peace and healing for people- the people who were Christ’s passion.

 

I haven’t processed all of this yet- it’s all very fresh in my mind and heart.  But, God is starting to let me know that I can’t expect to lead or have influence in the lives of people until I know and share their pain.  yikes!  That sounds messy and quite possibly dangerous!  It’s not enough to be passionate about a cause or issue, although that’s a great start.  God has called us to love Him and love people.  His passion was for people, and ours should be as well.  Our life is to be about relationship.  And a huge part of relationships, as shown in the work of Christ, is deciding how we will deal with and respond to pain.

 

This Christmas, I’ll be reflecting on the God who chose to send his son into a world where he would experience great pain- for our sake!  May Christ who chose to expose himself to real brokenness and hurt be the guiding example in my life, especially as I interact with my students!  A leader worth following knows and shares the pain of the people!

 

Here’s a link to a Chris Tomlin song called “Mighty is the Power of the Cross” that includes some of the Scripture above 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8sw-g6P544

 

Sweet summer jobs July 25, 2011

Filed under: Faith,Uncategorized — songofjoy88 @ 10:29 pm
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Wow!  A whole week went by without a post… part of that has to do with the fact that I have been working!  I probably have the sweetest summer job(s) ever!  I have the opportunity to tutor a couple of motivated students in Algebra 2 and pre-algebra.  It’s so fun to work with students who want to get it and are willing to put forth the effort.  Also, the whole no disruptions thing is nice.  Basically I get paid to chill at Panera and do math with a student- good stuff!  I’m thankful to God for providing the opportunity to tutor this summer- I would much rather tutor than teacher summer school!

 

My other sweet job is with the park district.  The variety is great and it’s nice to actually have co-workers (unlike teaching where you only see adults at lunch).  So far, I’ve worked as a server at two high school reunions, a wedding and a wine tasting.  Last week, I was trained to drive the beer cart and Friday drove around the golf course for about 5 hours selling drinks!

 

When I was looking for summer jobs, I knew I wanted to do something that would be a change from teaching and my job with the parks definitely meets that criteria.  Again, I’m thankful for God’s provision.  It has been such a blessing to have a productive way to spend my time- doing my tasks at work and getting to know my co-workers and customers.  After all, life is all about relationships.  I’ve enjoyed little conversations here and there as I learn what makes my co-workers tick.  For example, one of my co-workers, a high school student, is all about money.  He was asking me last week about how much “extra” money you have when you’re working and on your own.  This reminded me of a previous conversation we had about the drive to get more money and I asked him when he would know he had enough.  The exact details of the conversations aren’t important.  I just think it’s neat that I have an opportunity to invest in the lives of people who don’t share the same motivations as me.  It remind me of Paul’s words in Acts 17:26-28–> From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’  This also reminds me of a sweet song by Flame.  Check it out as you finish reading this post. 🙂

Yum! 2 steaks, salad, mixed veggies, vegetarian alfredo pasta and a rye roll!

The free food I get isn’t bad either!  If any of you have ever worked food service, you know that any food that was out has to be thrown away… even if there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  Well, if we have leftovers from the buffet, we fix up some nice to-go meals like the one in the picture (after eating our dinner during our shift).  And just this last week, I got BBQ ribs… yum!  So, not only am I getting paid (albeit close to minimum wage), I’m saving on groceries… and having a good time at work!

 

I’m reminded of James 1:17 which says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ”  Thank you to The One who is giving me these summer jobs as gifts!  May my actions as I work bring glory to my steadfast God.