Saturday, March 7, 2009

Waves of Insight

I did a little poll of our CA staff at dinner the other evening. It seems that Portugal is the surfing capital of Europe, and the storm that blew in off the Atlantic had whipped the waves up to a crest of about 20 feet. In my landlocked way of thinking, that means surf's up, dude. So I was curious to find out about the "Hawaii Five-O" courage of our dinner group.

Twenty eight staff answered these two questions: 1) Do you surf? 2) Regardless of your answer to the first question, would you surf in these conditions?

The results? Out of all of the people who answered that they would surf in these conditions, none of them actually surf. Of all the staff who actually surf, none of them said that they would surf in these conditions! In fact, one of our surfing staffers asked, "Is 'Hell no' an option?"

Now, this could imply a few things about our staff culture. It could indicate that we've got blindly courageous staff - the kind of people who would charge the gates of hell with water pistols; no fear, and a compelling passion to experience all this life has to offer.

Or it could imply that we've got seasoned, clear-minded staffers who know enough to discern a good idea from a bad one. By understanding the force of the current, the volatility of the breakers, and the danger of the jagged rocks laying just out of sight, these gamblers have the humility to know when to walk away, and when to run.

I find it interesting that our dinner was not attended by a bunch of newcomers, but by our core leadership community. What can you learn about an organization that has this breadth of diversity sitting at the leadership table?

First, it tells me that we've got mature believers who are not afraid of hardship. In fact, they expect to be tossed around by the waves of this world. These are hearty men and women who moved their families to international cities with little more than a suitcase of faith in their big God. Blind fools? Or warriors who live with confidence that He who called them is faithful?

It also tells me that our leadership core includes men and women who can discern the Spirit's promptings. Amidst the roar of crashing breakers, they can hear His quiet voice, and they obey. These people no longer live to impress others, and they will not let pride, arrogance or cheap thrills goad them into a surf where they don't belong.

And both belong in the circle. The courageous spirit of Peter, seated next to the insightful sensitivity of John. God's design behind human diversity, and God's intention that we share in this journey together.

I'm amazed at what gets washed in by the waves...

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