Dear President Trump:
The Daily Lectionary texts today are about yielding – not an easy thing for most of us, especially for leaders!
Even though the psalmist feels forsaken by God and assaulted by others, he concedes that dominion belongs to God; therefore, he is prepared to live for God (Psalm 22:28-29). Likewise, kings, princes and all rulers are to yield their praise to God whose “name alone is exalted” (Psalm 148:11-13). In the Gospel reading, the popular prophet John the Baptist permits two of his disciples to, instead, follow Jesus (John 1:35-42).
In my office, I have posted a beautiful blessing written by John O’Donohue, the late Irish author, poet and priest. It reminds me of my need as a leader to continually yield my ego for the well-being of others. I share it with you today.
Blessing for a Leader
May you have the grace and wisdom
To act kindly, learning
To distinguish between what is
Personal and what is not.
May you be hospitable to criticism.
May you never put yourself at the center of things.
May you act not from arrogance but out of service.
May you work on yourself,
Building up and refining the ways of your mind.
May those who work for you know
You see and respect them.
May you learn to cultivate the art of presence
In order to engage with those who meet you.
When someone fails or disappoints you,
May the graciousness with which you engage
Be their stairway to renewal and refinement.
May you treasure the gifts of the mind
Through reading and creative thinking
So that you continue as a servant of the frontier
Where the new will draw its enrichment from the old,
And you never become a functionary.
May you know the wisdom of deep listening,
The healing of wholesome words,
The encouragement of the appreciative gaze,
The decorum of held dignity,
The springtime edge of the bleak question.
May you have a mind that loves frontiers
So that you can evoke the bright fields
That lie beyond the view of the regular eye.
May you have good friends
To mirror your blind spots.
May leadership be for you
A true adventure of growth.
(from To Bless the Space Between Us)
J. Daryl Byler