February 4, 2020 • De Pree Journal
As we start a new year, in both my life and work, change feels like a constant companion. At home, I have two small kids, so they’re changing literally every week. 2019 was a year of great growth and learning for us at The De Pree Center. All of this has caused me to think about my own capacity to perceive opportunity in the midst of change.
Change comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s the change that’s mostly grief and loss. And, there’s change that’s mostly hope and opportunity. But, in my experience, much of change is part loss and part opportunity. I’m learning, through trial and error, how to be a leader capable of fully grieving the loss and while simultaneously seizing the opportunity.
The ability to do this feels a bit like an eyes-to-see and ears-to-hear situation, which makes me think of the parable of the sower. That’s the one where a farmer has seed that fell on different types of land. Some seed fell on a path and were quickly eaten up by birds. Other seed fell on rocky soil with roots too shallow to endure the elements. But, the last batch of seed fell on good soil, and therefore produced a ton of viable crops.
Jesus explains that when God’s message falls on ears that can’t hear it, it gets snatched away. When God’s message falls on ears that have shallow roots, it won’t endure when trouble comes. But, when God’s word falls on someone who is able to perceive and understand, then it can yield a good crop—a fruitful harvest.
If, like me, your life and leadership involve a lot of change, my prayer is that in 2020 we can be a people who can perceive opportunity and chase God’s callings with all our might. We’re excited for a good year ahead as a center and are grateful for the ways we get to serve you through this work.
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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 is the author of Make Work Matter: Your Guide to Meaningful Work in a Changing World. It’s gotten 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.