Axioms. Proverbs that give leadership wisdom for living life. We all have them, we at times learn from others, and some we discover on our own. Recently I blogged about Bill Hybel’s book and his 76 axioms over 4 posts. Over the years I have discovered my own 5 axioms that guide me in life. Perhaps they will guide you as well.
1. Trust the process. I learned this one in the call process. Lutherans believe the Holy Spirit guides churches to call pastors, teachers, principals, Directors of Christian Education, Music, etc. This Lutheran believes that as well. Trust the process. The Spirit seems to rise cream to the top. I was reminded of this again as I attended my daughter Dana’s internship service. I had told her weeks earlier to trust the process. We went to the service expecting to hear deferred, instead a 7:02 phone call for 7 o’clock service led to a position. I had doubted. The Holy Spirit (and my wife) reminded me again to trust the process. God is in control.
2. Hiring no body is better than hiring the wrong body. I watch others violate this axiom and regret it later, even 10 years later when the wrong body is still on staff. Unlike trust the process, hiring the wrong body tries to manipulate the process. From my experience, the Holy Spirit doesn’t like to be trumped. Besides His wisdom is a whole lot better than yours or mine.
3. Life is not fair, but God is good. I drilled this one into my kids growing up. They would comment in their younger years, “That’s not fair.” And this become my automatic response, “Life is not fair, but God is good.” If I had died, they would have put it on my tombstone. Someone once explained the psalms to me this way, that all 150 psalms speak of one or both parts of this axiom: Life is not fair and/or God is good. True for the psalms. True for life.
4. Beats washing feet. When I have a dirty job to do, I remember Jesus washing feet in John 13, and say to myself and whoever else is lucky to be working the dirty job, “It beats washing feet.” I also discovered people don’t like having their feet washed. They don’t always like the leader doing the dirty job, but servant leaders often lead best when they take a towel and basin of water, and are ready to serve instead of being served.
5. And you shall love. I learned this one this year. Each morning I wake up and pray the Great Commandment from Mark 12, what Scot McKnight calls, “The Jesus Creed.” Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourselves. I read the connection point between the command to Love God in Deuteronomy 6 and to Love your neighbor in Leviticus 19 is one Hebrew word that can be translated, “And you shall love.” It’s my mantra for Christian meditation, not to empty my mind (as in Transcendental Meditation), but to fill my heart. Focusing on those words has gotten me through days, where default mode would have been a “foot in mouth” fight, and to look for the way of love, to look for the way of God. In other words, I’m back to trusting the process.
These 5 axioms are what I’ve discovered in the journey of life. How about you? What axioms guide you in living, learning, loving and leading each day?