Hands without a Head

God worked on me a little this week – with some new clarity that I thought I would share. 

But to appreciate it, here are two quick unrelated pieces of background:

 

My previous spiritual walk – serving as a Head

Until recently, I looked at a period of my life around 5 years ago as being the time when I thought I was most in the center of God’s Will.   I was passionate about an annual event called “The Walk to Emmaus” which is an ecumenical three-day retreat where denominations, age and vocation were all stripped away (along with mobile phones, televisions and radio).  The result was a weekend of guys getting real with God and each other.  I had been able to participate and later serve in about one per year, and was preparing to lead one.   Alongside that and within my local church, I was the Chairman of our Deacon ministry, had an active accountability partner and a thriving friendship with one of the staff, and in general – was on the top of my game.  God was really stretching my Spiritual Gifts of Leadership, Administration and Discernment.  In turn, I was fervently reading Christian Leadership writers like John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, etc. 

I thought I was “in the zone”.  And then, the pastor resigned under very negative circumstances, the church started breaking up and was never the same, my best friends and I went in different directions and I became spiritually burnt out.  My Christian reading and my quiet times cooled and my passion became quiet.  And for a while, I was angry and disillusioned.  Later, I started to realize but was disappointed that I was no longer being asked to provide leadership in my Christian circles.  I had revelation that because I had unplugged from my Heavenly source, any direction or leadership that I offered would be of my will – not His.  And so, I struggled to find peace in the fact that I would not be “leading” again, until I started truly being “led” by the Spirit in my own daily life.  But I just couldn’t seem to get the motor started again.

 

My current vocation – having recently hired some Hands

In my work life, I very recently hired someone who is specifically intended to amplify my output — meaning that I am responsible for creating a large amount of materials, and literally needed more hands on typing.  The way that my company looks at the relationship between my new teammate and I — I own the plan of what is to be done and he is primarily intended to be my extra hands – in almost a headless kind of way.  Now, of course, he brings his own experiences and ideas to the table, and I anticipate that my plan will adapt as we work together, based on his experiences and capabilities, alongside what my committed goals are to our larger team. 

But on paper, he might be thought of as “hands without a head”, while I might be considered “a head without enough hands”.

 

Putting it together

Of course, as I write the words here, the clarity of what I have already started seeing is hopefully apparent to you, as well.  We are all “hands without a head” to Christ.  And while He can do anything that He wants, He chooses to do those things that are uniquely capable by Him in the work of our minds and hearts, and often chooses to delegate those things that need hands to us.

Lately, I have found a great deal of satisfaction in working the AV (lights/sound) within my local church, usually in the children’s ministry of all places – or within a dark and locked room clicking slides for the main adult worship.  I am never on stage, and I doubt that many folks know who I am or what I do – other than the fact that the band seems to know the words to all of the songs, or seeing that the kids enjoy church and there seems to magically be lots of music and videos and fun things going in the room.  Until recently, while I had been surprised to find myself enjoying and being completely satisfied in this nearly anonymous role, parts of my mind believed that if I just reinvigorated my quiet times and could somehow reawaken my passion for Christ, that I would be plugged back in and God would start flexing my leadership muscles again.

But in retrospect, I had it wrong.

Certainly, in my workplace, I firmly hold that the only kind of leader that I want to be is that of a Servant Leader, so I hope that my new employee will come to view me as genuinely interested in lifting him up and equipping him for his personal success as well as our joint endeavor.  And of course, our teamwork will result not strictly by my will, but instead from the combination of his experiences plus my plans – which is not that different from the course that God has for me, based on my experiences and His plans (except that He charted my experiences too).  It is what makes me uniquely capable to serve within His larger plan, similar to how my new teammate is uniquely capable to help me in my work role this year.

So as I started helping my new employee ramp this week, God seems to be reminding me that I am still “hands without a head”, regardless of where or how I serve.  If He chooses to use my hands on a soundboard during Childrens’ worship or use my hands to craft a leadership direction some time in the future, I am still just “hands”.  I was never – even when leveraging spiritual gifts like “leadership” or “discernment” – a "head", only His hands.

 

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3 Responses to Hands without a Head

  1. Jon says:

    Hi Jason, I am one of your fellow employees here at Microsoft. In fact, I am an SSP for Security and Management for in the great NorthWest and I am responsible for the Oregon \\ Idaho System Center User Group for Enterprise customers.. More importantly, I am a fellow man on a faith journey with Christ. I appreciate your willingness to be transparent about your faith. I have seen your work on DPM and feel you are helping drive some great progress with the quality of DPM and market share penetration here in the U.S. and globally. Thanks for that.And yet you\’ve it on the head, our natural skills and abilities are only vehicles of our worship as we press on with excellence with whatever our hand finds to do. Whether it is on a venue in front of thousands or in a quiet editing room doing slides for the worship team or doing sound for children\’s church. For me though, all that doesn\’t change that in my search for signifance, I can sometimes engage in an ironic thought pattern that at work I feel signicant and yet in church I feel anonymous when I do helper tasks that lack that "up in front" highly visible quality. What a worldly self dialogue and it is certainly for me, my own insecurity at work. This especially happens for me as right now I also am serving in the children\’s ministry and while I throughly enjoy my flock of 2 year olds, I sometimes feel I am on the bottom of the "ministry totem pole." In the past I too had highly visible responsiblilites and felt on my game, and also felt more spiritually energized. Now, I am a husband, a Dad, and have a job that I enjoy but is also all consuming. And on Sundays, I am a toddler nursery supervisor. Weird how theologically I know God has no heirarchy and doesn\’t see one role in the church as more valuable than other (and for that matter, one person as more valuable than another). But neverthless, as man in the "natural" I too can connect your thought "Until recently, . . . , parts of my mind believed that if I just reinvigorated my quiet times and could somehow reawaken my passion for Christ, that I would be plugged back in and God would start flexing my leadership muscles again."And yet, I love your conclusion – that you (or we) are " never – even when leveraging spiritual gifts like “leadership” or “discernment” – a "head", only His hands." So as you are in your quiet editing room and am I am leading another round of "This Little light of Mine," let us remind ourselves of that little fact and moreover, whatever we do it is not for an audience of thousands, but simply an audience of One. And God will bring us through various seasons of life and in His timing, he will use our giftedness as He sees fit for the righ time, for the right place, for the right people.With that, I will say that God has put you in a unique position leading with DPM. There are many of us of all walks of life whose livelihoods are impacted by DPM – guys like me who work for Microsoft or IT professionals in every nook and cranny of the IT universe who have have folks who depend on us to excel at what we do (wives, kids, etc ). And all of our lives are actually enhanced the better DPM is as a product (code, documentation, interface, etc). I understand a big part of your focus these days is DPM v3. With that in mind, the next time you are reviewing a bug report or a product support documentation, motivating a team of developers, and staying a few hours extra to make things that much better, think of me and the anonymous IT professional and know that your efforts are well appreciated. We have a great product today and with your efforts, v3 will be just that much better. And in the mundane, God can in fact be glorified as He accomplishes the absolutely extraordinary through the ordinary. God\’s speed to you in whatever your hands find to do.Jon RuizPortland, Oregon

  2. Diana says:

    Hi, I am new to all this technology. Was not real motivated to learn, being old. And I always ask God to be the supernatural force behind my button pushing, guiding me, as none of it made sense to me at all. i just did not understand the language. Not bad, just old and ignorant. I never, in my wildest imagination believed that I would leave that Redmond neighborhood, after spending the majority of my life in that area. To make a long story short, I ended up in eastern Wash., due to low wage jobs, that were never enough in that neighborhood. And laid off here, and signing up for the Elevate America program, wondering, "do I really want to work in technology, do I need employment? is that even a reality, since it is a foreign language, that I am totally clueless about.? And I have a very big hangup about feeling stupid, and not understanding. for some reason, I decided to check out my first blog. Never have I been this adventuresome. what you are talking about, I still do not understand. The fact that you live in Dallas, I have never been there, but I sure love Daystar. I miss them. they are not on cable where I live in Selah. God bless you. A sis, in Christ, Diana S. If I had to choose about knowing Jesus, or technology, I would Pick Jesus. Now, I need to understand your language. I was told to hurry up, hurry up, to apply for certification by next month. There is no way. I have not had the desire in my heart to really want to know this stuff. I feel like the freakiest geek, simply for not being a geek. Comprehend? I consider this a good sign, in you being the first blog that I decide to be brave enough to investigate. Thank you, and may God bless your family. I do operate that simple business/seedsowing of giving,. giving, giving, even on a low wage. So, I do understand that major fact, though most think I am crazy, and tell me to only be concerned about myself. They do not understand God\’s laws. It\’s a good philosophy to represent your corporation, as well. It just works! Praise God. That employee of yours, sounds mighty darn lucky to have you for a boss. I have had some awful bosses. And in the low wage world, just began to lose tolerance, and never stayed anywhere long. I like to type, but am afraid to apply for work, as much competition, and I don\’t look so good on paper now. I am honest, and trustworthy, but if pushed to the limit, and taken advantage of, I will say, "Take this job, and find someone else to do it. I\’m outta here." So, I am now reaping the consequences of that, and know God will find a way for someone to see the real me, and not just the stereotype of a flake. I have gone on far too long. I like to write, but that\’s not your problem. Thanks again!

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