I had the honor of co-teaching "Career Mastery" at Ohio Valley University over the summer with Stan Hancock, a leadership trainer at The Boeing Company. The course is designed to introduce rising sophomores to several key concepts, including: (1) using your history and strengths to explore possibilities for your personal and professional life, (2) identifying your mission and vision for your work life and life's work, (3) acting within the core characteristics of professionals, and (4) engaging in professional behavior. In our last weekend of class before heading to Washington DC for a shadowing experience, I told our students that as I gain more wisdom and insight into my own life, it is clear that my life is like a large ball of strings with many beginning and ending points. At any given moment in time, God is pulling those strings to ensure the best possible outcome for decisions I am making. In other words, I am in control of my decisions, my life path if you will, but God is involved in the results. While I truly believe God can work miracles in my life, I also believe I have to live with bad results if I make bad decisions just like I can expect good results when I make good decisions. Thanks to God, my bad results likely aren't as bad as they would be if He wasn't pulling strings too and, likewise, my good results are probably much better than they would be without Him.
As leaders, I sometimes wonder if we get this concept backwards with our followers. Perhaps we spend too much time trying to pull the strings for them before they really make decisions. Perhaps we think we can see the results far ahead of time, and jump in to resolve the situation before our followers can even assess it. Perhaps we just think there's a right way and a wrong way to do things.
I wouldn't want to serve a God who has only one path that I can take for a successful life - it is too daunting (and discouraging) to think that I might have to search my entire life for that one path and still never find it. I like the idea that God can pull the right strings as I make decisions. I suspect those who follow us would prefer that too, and that they would like to know that we will do our best to pull the right strings to minimize the bad results and maximize the positive results.
Are you pulling the right strings at the right time? Becky