Ragamuffin Leadership

I was an RA at Anderson University, and I remember the chance to revisit the campus I worked.  Upon the visit, I was able to hang out with the ragamuffins who lived on my floor.  What a great time of fellowship!  I have often said that fellowship is when the mighty descend and the lowly rise, but I also think fellowship happens when the lowly congregate. Anyway, it was wonderful to be with the men I lived close to for a year and see where their lives were then and now.  My mind went back to a conversation I had with a friend of mine on campus.  She said, "Ya know!  They say the floor almost always becomes reflections of their RA."  I thought to myself, "Oh no!  That cannot happen.  Nobody wants that.  One P.C. is bad and crazy enough."  Then I went back to visit them and realized how true that is of ANY LEADER on ANY LEVEL.  If you are like me, you realize how ridiculously humbling it can be.

I went back to find freshmen and sophomores then sophomores and juniors who were IN LOVE WITH THE GOSPEL.  I went back to see the craziest guys on campus then...still crazy...but almost each and every one of them filling some sort of leadership role.  I saw several of them in raw honest accountability groups [ash trays included].  I saw a group of guys who pursued God with all their hearts.  I got to see a group of guys in love with Jesus at the very core of their being but who are looked down upon as the "unorthodox" group.

My last day there, one of the guys came up to me before I left for the airport and said, "PC, I just went to an interview for [a large Christian summer camp], and the guy asked me, 'Who is one leader in your life you have respected the most and why,' and I said, 'PC Walker, my RA last year."  He said it was because I lead in a way that built a relationship he respected, and then it was as though I stepped back to watch them grow.

I had no idea.  I was just getting close to my guys and letting them get close to me...the real me.

No matter what level of leadership you are in...even if you do not think you are a leader (you ARE), WE ALL PASS A BIT OF OURSELVES ONTO OTHERS.  That is the great inevitability of relationships.  We all have INFLUENCE to give and receive, to pass on and take on.  Its as easy as creating relationships.

Peculiar Trust

Trust is a peculiar thing to understand and even more difficult to live out.  Trust is difficult because it requires honesty most of us are not used to.  In order for me to trust, I must be willing to be honest fully.  I must be willing to present the reality of myself.  This honesty involves everything and not just honesty about the things that are easy and pleasant. This means my emotions are included.  It means when I am angry, hurt or sad, I have to be as honest as I am when I am thrilled.  If I am willing and able to be honest with these things, I am able to really trust.  If am not able or willing to be honest with Tonya when I am angry or saddened, I do not trust my wife.  If I am only fully honest with Tonya when everything is great and thrilling while hiding away my frustration or pain, I do not trust my wife.

How then do we trust an invisible God?  How then do I learn to trust a Heavenly Father?  I suppose the question to answer that question is, "How honest am I with God?"

When I am frustrated and angry with the circumstances of life, why am I praying without the cursing and fury in order to remain reverent even in my anger?  When I am terrified and stressed  about a big life decision I need to make, why am I praying pretty "if it be thy will" prayers?  When all the world feels against me, and I am down and out, why are my prayers absent?  Why are my prayers only passionate and heart-felt when I am thanking God for something?

Why? Because I do not really trust God?

I do not trust God enough to be angry with him or my circumstances.  I do not trust God enough to bring myself bedraggled and broken and absent of piety.  I do not trust God enough to simply be honest with my worry and stress.

If I am unwilling to just be honest with my pain, anger, worry, and hurt, I do not trust God enough to be thrilled and thankful.