Eyes in the back of her head

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 2.54.07 PMGrowing up my brother, sister and I thought our mother had “eyes in the back of her head.”  What we meant was simply that she so aware of what we did we could not get away with anything.   Our mother had that ability because as her children we had her attention.   She turned her attention away from her needs and desires to focus on our needs.

Recently I was in the audience when a person conducted some business for the whole group.  In terms of the presentation, it was good.  But when she concluded someone near me said, “That wasn’t about our group or our business, that was all about her!”  She was so preoccupied with herself and how people perceived her that she missed what the group needed her to do.  Her leadership in that group failed.

Jesus spoke about ‘servant leadership,’ leadership that subsumes our own wants and desires to those of others.  Max DePree, former CEO of Herman Miller points out that truly effective leaders are those who can convince a group that she or he can help them get where they want to go.  In other words, the leader can subsume his or her need to serve the needs of the group.

Jesus’ followers are called, like Jesus, to serve the world.  That certainly does not mean that we are to help people do whatever they want.  It does mean that when we can assist, we need to serve them.  But, what about our needs?  We are to be able to serve others because we draw on the strength of knowing that our heavenly Father is caring for us.  Because we know God is caring for us, we can turn our attention and efforts to others.

I want to become a person who is more interested in the lives of others than wanting my own needs to be met.  I want to have cultural eyes in the back of my head that attend to the needs of others so that I can invite them to come know my heavenly Father who meets all my needs.  How about you?

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This article appears in the Naples Daily News on August 31, 2013 on the church page


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