I recently completed a really excellent course at work called Growing Leaders. The course was a great mix of teaching input, group discussion and being mentored. Two very significant things about the course that have stayed with me are 1) The chance to create space to learn, think and focus on some key issues of character and identity. Leadership has to be about integrity and character. 2) The focus on leading out of who we are as human beings rather than leading from any title or status or role.
In this film Daniel Goldman talks profoundly and challengingly about creating time and space to stop and notice a need. Compassion can only spring forth and be active if we take the time to get close and stay close to a need, person or cause. If we are to distant, not really present or do not really care then we will not really be willing or able to meet a need.
This journey of contemplation has been helped by meeting daily with friends and colleagues for short times of contemplative prayer. Stopping at the start and the end of a day and noticing both the need and importance of prayer, silence and being with God and others.
Its good to take time out to stop, rest, notice and be fully present. Its human, Its Christ like as modelled to us by Jesus(Mk 1:35, 6:45-46, 14:32-34, Lk 4:42, 5:16, 6:12) . We live in a fast paced world, activity and a can do it, get it, have it, change it NOW mentality is a common motif. I am all for creativity, energy, momentum and getting things done efficiently. But I don’t buy or subscribe to that way of thinking fully and completely. Being in praise of slow, rest, stopping, thinking, not always acting and going deep is also important. I know that its my more natural default and I love to be able to dwell, reflect and think but if we don’t do this and build this in will we ultimately end up being a bit like the Princeton theology students in the film and end up missing the point, burning out or being unable to speak with any integrity?