Sunday, February 18, 2007
the lonley mind of man...
Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.
–John Steinbeck, East of Eden (1952), p. 131
I wrestle with this, especially in the area of pastoring a church. It seems there are things that a group or team can do...and much that it can not do. I think a lot of the time we can hide behind a group or team and feel safe in a circle. There are no first points of contact in a circle. Leading sets you on a straight course for conflict. As soon as you bring something out of the dark and into the light, Like: an idea, a program, a dream, a song, anything...it becomes a point of contact for judgment and criticism. That can often be avoided by hiding behind others. But you can't find a start or an end in a circle either, confusion can creep into a circle mindset. Everyone wants to hug the back in front of you but when it comes to owning an action of plan...who is leading? We love to own a good result but how about a bad one?
In the end, most things won't get done without someone choosing to lead. Choosing to take it on the chin when it doesn't work. It's not easy and I think that is why there are more followers than leaders. Why not draft on the momentum of someone else than try to create wind on your own?
"Downtime is necessary for creativity and intuition. For the incubation of reflections and relationships. For God to work in our minds and hearts. For us to hear the song inside us. The relative mind, while in the act of creation, is like a fading coal. It's a battle requiring both industriousness and indulgence to keep something alive that is constantly flagging and wanting to go out." -Leonard sweet
So true...fighting against the "fading coal" is critical in any work. There is so much that aims at quenching the flame.