Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Leading in Shades of Grey

"Good leaders lead through the grey. They don't get lost in it. They don't get bogged down by it. They push through it to find clarity." -Jenni Catron
Why am I here right now? Why am I doing this? Do I even want to do this?--for the rest of my life? I want to be passionate, but about what?Sometimes I can't find the answers in clear-cut black and white letters. Often, the answers I am looking for are in shades of grey.
In Jeremiah, God says that He knows His plans for me, and these plans are for my good. Sometimes I wonder why I haven't been given a glimpse into these plans. Wouldn't it be nice to be handed a map marking out where to go to college, what career to pursue, how to respond in every situation, who to befriend and who to avoid, and who to marry? This past week I felt like I was walking through a pitch black room trying to find a light switch. I felt like I couldn't see my hand in front of me and I wanted desperately to turn on a light! But, as I began to think about what I was experiencing in the dark, I began to realize that perhaps that's exactly where God wants me. In my attempts to find a light, I was using my own resources--making my own career choices, looking at what colleges I was interested in, spending time with people I wanted to hang out with, and responding to situations how I felt like responding. See a pattern? Finding the answers was all about me. When I took the time to stop and think about what I was experiencing in the dark, a light turned on inside of me and Clarity began to resonate within my heart.
In my search for "light," I was asking questions questions like...
  • What career do I want to pursue?
  • What am I good at?
  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to major in?
  • Where do I want to go to school?
God began to show me, however, that I was asking the wrong questions. In 1 Corinthians chapters 8-10, He showed me that He has commissioned me with a work, entrusted me with gifts & abilities, and is compelling me to take action.
So, to truly seek the Light, I think I should ask some different questions...
  • God, what are you commissioning me to do?
  • God, what are you entrusting to me?
  • God, what are you compelling me to take action on?
When I began to shift my focus from "finding the light" to simply sitting in God's presence--light or no light--I began to find Clarity...and true Light. He began to show me that the future isn't even about me...it's all about Him. He showed me that leading isn't about status, position, accomplishments, who you know, how many books you have read, or where you have been. In contrast, leadership is all about being a servant. This thing called life isn't something to pass through, but something to work hard in--running towards the Finish Line giving it everything I've got! Leading in shades of grey is all about pushing through to find Clarity--and the beautiful thing is that Clarity is found alone in Jesus Christ. AND, what's more, He has equipped us to walk through shades of grey. He quips us to overcome and raises us up to become more like Christ.

Leading in shades of grey....seeking TRUE Clarity requires asking the right questions and taking the time to sit in the dark for a while. Christ requires ALL of us...not 50% or even 99%. He asks for all. I believe He leads us to sit at His feet in the dark so we can push through those grey areas--those areas that we are trying so desperately to figure out, but for all the wrong reasons.

So, where am I right now? Content. Content to simply sit at His feet until He leads me to move. I'm asking different questions and discovering what it is that He has commissioned me for, entrusted me with, and compelling me to take action on. From what He's showing me, it's definitely different than what I would have ever imagined or even dreamed of...but the small glimpse that He has shown me looks pretty exciting if you ask me! Yep, I am beginning to embrace leading in shades of grey....black and white answers are over-rated.

Photo courtesy of Megan Mercier.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Whoaaaa. I had never even thought about the dark in that way - as a time we simply let God lead and let it be about Him instead of us - the way it's supposed to be! I've been getting so frustrated that I can't find the proverbial light switch - but I think I'm going to appreciate my hand only brushing the wall much more now. Praise Jesus - He is in control! Thank you for this perspective, Emily. I'm going to sit quietly at His feet, wait on His guidance, listen for His voice.