I have a good friend who has talked about influence for as long as I’ve known him. He values it. He doesn’t take it lightly. He is patient in pursuit of it. He believes it is given not taken. And he is passionate about it’s role in each of our lives as we live out the calling God has given us.
But, despite his passion & conviction, even after two years of conversations about influence with my friend I hadn’t resonated with the idea. It was one of those “that’s a nice thought, I’m really glad you’re passionate about” kind of things.
Influence is currently reigning as a buzz word. We use it as a marketing pitch, condemn it for making us prideful, blame it for burnout, strategize to grow our own, and put it in our book titles. But it’s also one of those concepts that I think for many remains an abstract idea we can’t quite wrap our heads around. Something about my friend’s passion for the idea of influence kept me believing it was more than just a nice idea.
I was pretty excited to tell my friend the other day that the concept of influence had finally resonated with me.
I got a call a week or so ago from a friend that ended a few days later with what, in hindsight, I realized was me leveraging the influence I have been given to help someone else live out their God given calling.
When that realization hit me I was both excited & scared to death. Influence is heavy. It comes with great responsibility to steward well. Because it’s a gift…and not one for my benefit but for that of others. It is given only that it may be given away.
Has influence become more than just a nice idea for you? How are you giving it away?
2 months. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve written anything new on here. I’ve created a pressure to write in my head & that’s been looming over me. But every time I sat down to do so, one of two things happened: nothing came out or what did come out just sounded depressing.
I opened up twitter tonight to find this from the one & only Gary Molander:
“Blessed are you who write words from the weariness of your own souls, for in those words, you offer readers a taste of authentic life.”
I was convicted. I haven’t written because the only place I had to offer words from was the weariness of my own soul & I didn’t think that was enough.
But tonight I believe that perhaps it is. And so I write…without answers, without agenda, with an authenticity evidenced by the tears falling onto the keys as I type…with questions offered from a weary soul. A soul that is wondering why friends leave. Why life has to feel so heavy. Why family can’t understand. Why I am suddenly fighting more insecurity than I have…maybe ever. Why community is so hard. Why I can’t bring myself to be vulnerable. Why God can’t work a miracle so I don’t have to fight aching hands & painful joints on a daily basis. Why I feel like I have nothing more to give. Why I can’t just make myself get over it all & be happy.
And in this moment I’m realizing that up to this point I haven’t even had the courage to ask those questions. I’ve been waiting for answers to questions I haven’t been willing to ask. And perhaps asking questions is the first step because it is by its very nature humbling…admitting I don’t know everything…don’t have it all under control.
And although I don’t always get it right, I’ve learned that as long as I try to control this life of mine it’s going to feel out of alignment.
But what next? What do you do when you have more questions than answers? When you’re restless to the point that you’re certain you are going crazy with a soul weary to the point of exhaustion?
I chase the sunset. I listen to music. I go for a drive. I cry. I cry out. And tonight, I write.