One of my favorite recent reads, Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life starts this way: "I have not survived against all odds. I have not lived to tell. ?" What's not to love about a book that starts this way? I have to tell you, my life feels like Amy's. While I may certainly have survived against some odds I never knew of or lived to tell because of some intervention by my guardian angel, in reality I'm no survivor either. My life has been fairly "ordinary," and I think I lead that way.
I mean, the "risks" I take are rarely real risks. Failure or messing up in most of my leadership arenas doesn't put anyone's life on the line or anything. More often than not, dollars and cents are on that line. And it shows in the way I lead.
I never gave this any thought until I started watching the changes in my friend Kim. Last spring, at 36 years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the summer, she's endured surgery, daily radiation, and is now on medicine that "promises" to keep cancer at bay.
Now she is a survivor!
And it shows - something greater is on the line for her now. During this summer, she's been dutiful about sending out an e-newsletter to a huge list of friends, family, and colleagues to give health updates, but she's taken this opportunity to do more. She's made it her personal mission to make sure everyone she talks to or emails, knows God's healing and comforting power. And she's not afraid to get into your face (or in-box) to convince you to "feel your boobies" (as a t-shirt of hers reads) in self-checks or to schedule a "baseline" mammogram.
Since she's been diagnosed with cancer, she's seen people grow closer to Christ - or at least more curious about him - and had two friends have biopsies on "lumps" that would probably have gone unnoticed were it not for Kim's feel-your-boobies campaign.
It's crazy to say that it's been "fun" watching a friend with cancer. But in a weird way, with Kim it has. Because God is so clearly up to something spectacular with her. While she's always been a natural leader, the way she's doing it these days is nothing if not inspiring. She leads like she's looked death and cancer and radiation and horrible medicine in the face and survived. She leads like she's held tightly to the hand of God - and he's been faithful. She leads like lives are on the line. Like souls are. And they are.
And I can't help but think that we should all be taking our passions and our experiences and whatever God has laid on our hearts and leading like this, like lives and souls are at stake. What would that look like?