Today is a time to be re-souled. We are troubled with the times, confused by the noise, faced with uncertainty. Renewal can happen with silence to listen, reflection to understand, and a new sense of direction.
I am very grateful for being able to attend the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit for a second year. It is a time for personal reflection, and I always have left the Summit with a renewed spirit and added energy.
Staying power is always the key. How long will the spirit and energy last within us?
For me, this seemed to be an overall theme of the 2010 Summit. It took on a message of “we know people are tired, worn out, and disillusioned.” Many of the messages, graphics, and even music seemed to address these themes.
Many people do have weathered souls, facing droughts in their lives.
Just think of what we as a nation have been through during the last ten years or so…
- A dot com bust
- Terrorist attacks, wars…
- A housing collapse
- Financial disasters
- Significant, growing job losses
- Environmental disasters
And, these are just the macro events which have seeped into many individual and family lives.
No wonder people are weathered, worn out. We have traveled through much over the past years, and we are worn to the core. Tempers are shorter; expectations are frayed; and frustrations are evident.
It is hard to escape all of this. With 24 hour news cycles and talking heads throwing fuel on the fire of discontent, we are facing a Network moment of “I’m as mad as hell, and I am not going to take it anymore!” Steven Slater is just the most recent example of this exclamation.
We have weathered souls.
The message from the 2010 Summit is that faith can re-soul us, renew us, and re-energize us.
Sometimes, it seems hollow to say God is with us. It sounds like just another false hope statement. Cynicism is all around us.
What we need to make certain of is that we are listening. If there was noise to confuse things in biblical times, just think about our clutter (probably at least 100x). We need to rise above noise levels while realizing our own effort is still required to make the prompting happen. There is no magic wand.
The Summit did ignite spirits by reminding us:
- The resurrected Christ should always keep the fire alive in our life. There is always a reason and a purpose; we just to remember.
- Redemption is more than a promise, it happens.
- We need to recalibrate from time-to-time; we need to listen to what is really being asked of us and actually do it, put it into action.
- Tension is okay; we just need to manage it, leverage it for progress. Tension can produce a re-energized direction and purpose.
- Discipline is an essential ingredient in life. It is: discipline in listening to God, discipline in taking a break to reflect and renew, and discipline to be undistracted from our core purpose.
- We need to remain humble, never giving up, always taking time to help others, and stretching ourselves to use our capabilities to achieve new objectives.
Passion can be preserved and taken to the next level. It is time to be re-souled.
It takes responsibility, reflection, and a refined relationship with God to re-soul and move forward.