"Claim Your Unique Presence" - Thoughts on Leadership
I find myself returning to certain sources of wisdom these days, cherished teachers who have been spirit guides for me. Here is a "guest editorial" from one, Henri Nouwen, from The Inner Voice of Love:
Your unique presence in the community is the way God wants you to be present to others. Different people have different ways of being present. You have to know and claim your way. That is why discernment is so important. Once you have an inner knowledge of your true vocation, you have a point of orientation. That will help you decide what to do and what to let go of, what to say and what to remain silent about, when to go out and when to stay home, who to be with and who to avoid.
When you get exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, or run down, your body is saying that you are doing things that are none of your business. God does not require of you what is beyond your ability, what leads you away from God, or what makes you depressed or sad. God wants you to live for others and to live that presence well. Doing so might include suffering, fatigue, and even moments of great physical or emotion pain, but none of this must ever pull you away from your deepest self and God.
You have not yet fully found your place in your community. Your way of being present to your community may require times of absence, prayer, writing, or solitude. These too are times for your community. They allow you to be deeply present to your people and speak words that come from God in you. When it is part of your vocation to offer your people a vision that will nurture them and allow them to keep moving forward, it is crucial that you give yourself the time and space to let that vision mature in you and become an integral part of your being.
Blessings on Henri Nouwen, and others who keep offering me the vision,
Greg Bain, Pastor