Lessons from My Favorite Pen

Posted: September 7, 2017 in Servant Leader, Shepherding

I was totally engaged, making furious notes. All in! Ready and willing to contribute, and then it happened.

Everything changed.

I was totally let down and disappointed by this rebellious act of insubordination and willful disobedience. No matter how hard I pushed and pressed, it refused to give what it no longer had. My favorite pen was out of ink.fullsizeoutput_c51

The moment, of course, was quite ironic. I was sitting around the table with other servant leadership practitioners this morning, and we were discussing how to maintain servant leadership during stressful situations. In particular, we were exploring the role of being rested (i.e. having a full charge, managing your reserves) so that we don’t run on empty.

That’s exactly where my (former) favorite pen was at… staling on empty.

So that’s when my pen schooled me.

  • Regain perspective. It took some time for me to recognize that my frustration level was getting high. But, once I recognized it, it became easier to adapt towards the right perspective.
  • Return to the high ground. As I was glaring at my pen, one of the servant leadership masters made the comment “always operate form the high ground.” So I stopped torturing my pen with my fiery gaze and returned to listening for additional wisdom.
  • Exchange places. I started thinking that, at times, I too am just like this pen. Out of “ink” – out of energy, passion, and compassion. I was reminded today that when I no longer have the energy to stand, I need to continue on my knees.
  • Ask for a refill. Many people are willing and ready to refill my empty tank. I also receive strength from God who is always ready to help. I am reminded of “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (attributed to Jesus as recorded in The Gospel of St. John chapter 15 verse 5)
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