Updated: Nov 18, 2019
My guest blogger is Pastor Kylie Garrett. I know you’ll love her take on the rub in leadership.
There’s plenty of ‘rub’ in leadership, those things that make you moan internally and want to roll your eyes or screw up your face. They’re little and they’re big, they’re annoying and disheartening, they’re ever present and never failing! They’re the ‘rub’ that if allowed, will do a sanctifying work in your heart. Well, that or knock you out of the race completely!
Have you ever had a planned day or a week off? You’ve organized everything and everyone so you can be free and then things go to mud and you have to do what you would normally do – or maybe even extra? This is one form of a ‘rub’ of leadership. You may find yourself uncharacteristically not wanting to serve, not wanting to fill that gap and not wanting to solve that problem! The most difficult emotion is that you feel completely justified in that stance because it was your week off and surely everyone deserves an occasional – sometimes VERY occasional – week off! Surely? The flesh rises as your defense attorney and it relentlessly builds and declares a strong case!
This case often leads to a condition I call ‘bail envy’. Doesn’t the thought of being able to bail on something sound invigorating? Just once, you think, I’d like to try that! What must it be like to wake up with that crashing head and call in sick – no need to find a replacement, just give someone a call and they’ll sort it out. They’ll find a way and you can roll back over and sleep that head better. Doesn’t it sound delightful? Imagine if your social calendar could be enough cause to bail? It just seems a bit too hard… you feel a bit tired… you just need a break. All those things you have heard but never been able to say! There is a reason you have not been able to say those things though. You are a leader and when the pity party is over, you’ll dismiss the case, roll up those sleeves, postpone the break and do what needs to be done. It’s not just because you are a leader though, it’s that you are committed to the cause and the call to what and whom you lead. The bail envy is real, but it soon gives way to allow the sanctifying part of the rub to do its work.
The sanctifying rub performs an invasive and exposing heart check. As much as you wish you could be the follower that can call in sick or bail, the truth is you are doing something that you believe in to your very core; so deeply that its really intertwined with your DNA. You’ll remember the reason you are called back in is because you are privileged to carry the ultimate responsibility. It’s your baby. Others might abort or abandon, but for you it’s connected. Even when its crying and demanding and seems like it will remain infantile eternally – you still love it.
Let there be no mother-guilt in this mother/baby metaphor either. It’s actually very normal to desire comfortable and well-ordered lives, where things and people do as they are meant too, be what they are meant to be and grow systematically. It doesn’t make you a bad mother or a bad leader to have these thoughts, it just makes you human – and it means you are being sanctified! Sanctification is an ongoing lifetime process, so when you get the leadership rub and you need to dig in when you had other plans, other desires or dreamed of a blissful day off, just remember; its probably doing your heart more good than the day off would have anyway. Let the rub do the sanctifying work in you and remember why you serve, the call that won’t leave you alone and the God that called you into it. He’s not a quitter and neither are you!