November 10, 2019 • Life for Leaders
We’ve flown free from their fangs,
free of their traps, free as a bird.
Their grip is broken;
we’re free as a bird in flight.
Yesterday, I introduced the idea of a Leadership Playlist. Drawing inspiration from Psalm 124, I suggested that the first song on your leadership playlist be a song of remembrance. Leadership is an uphill journey; as we do the tough, slow work, we need a foundation of remembrance that God is with us along the way.
Drawing from the next verse in Psalm 124, I want to suggest that the second song on your playlist be a song of freedom. Let me also say here that the image of a playlist is just that, an image. While you might have a literal collection of worship songs, your leadership playlist might also be a collection of stories and scriptures, songs and practices that quickly usher you into worship as you make the uphill climb of leadership.
Endurance for the climb comes in part from hope for what might be—an imagination of what freedom in Christ looks and feels like. I love the ways freedom is portrayed in Psalm 124:7. The worshipers making the trek to Jerusalem are singing out that they’re free from danger of snarling dogs, as we read yesterday. What a relief! But, they’re not just free from harm, they’re liberated to fly. How exhilarating! For humans who can’t actually fly, feeling as a bird does requires we imagine something impossible—that we let the possibility we have in God wash over us.
If leadership is an uphill climb, then we need inspiration for the journey. The liberation that is life in Christ is the basis for imagination as a leader. We can feed this imagination by calling out to God, praising him that in Christ we are indeed “as free as a bird in flight.” In Christ, all things are possible and the hope of what is to come is worth the slow, hard work of leadership.
What song, story, scripture, or practice helps you worship God and soak in the freedom you have in Christ? Add it as the second “song” on your leadership playlist.
Something to Think About:
Think about a time in your work that you felt “as free as a bird in flight.” Can you name how God was with you during this time?
When you think about your past, what are you most grateful to be free from?
When you think about your future, what do you desire to be most free from?
Something to Do:
Take a walk around the place where you most often work. As you do, ask God to help you remember times in that space that God has been present with you.
Lord, thank you that I am free in you. Thank you for helping me to hope and imagine and live into not just what is, but what might be. I surrender the areas of my life to you in which I do not yet feel freedom. I trust that you will guide my hope and flight forward. Amen.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
Our Heavenly Help
Dr. Michaela O’Donnell is the Executive Director of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership where she oversees the center’s vision, strategy, program, and team, all with the goal of helping leaders like you respond faithfully to God in all seasons of your life and leadership.
Michaela’s first book, Make Work Matter: Your Guide to Meaningful Work in a Changing World is due out in October with Baker Books. It’s already getting rave reviews from folks such as Dave Evans, Mark Labberton, Missy Wallace, Luke Bobo, Dee Ann Tuner, Kara Powell, and more. This book is a reflection of Michaela’s heart as both an entrepreneur and a practical theologian. Drawn to the real life working out of big issues, it is a how to for anyone walking the road of calling in a changing world.
Click here to view Michaela’s profile.