Leadership Playlist, Song 2

By Michaela O’Donnell

November 10, 2019

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.

Psalm 124:7 (MSG)


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.

A foggy village seen from atop a hillDrawing 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

Michaela O’Donnell

Mary and Dale Andringa Executive Director

Mary and Dale Andringa Executive Director Chair Max De Pree Center for Leadership Assistant Professor of Marketplace Leadership Fuller Seminary Dr. Michaela O’Donnell is the Mary and Dale Andringa Executive Director Chair of the Max...

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