This week I have been reflecting on my own strengths and weaknesses. It’s been a bit of a struggle. I’m involved in a development programme at work and we had a group session on Monday and I decided to ask about development objectives.
I’ve been on this programme for about a year now and I don’t really have a development objective and it struck me that this is possibly a bit of an issue …
How can I take steps to develop if I don’t know where I’m trying to get to?
I then had a meeting with my mentor on Wednesday and she’s given me some resources – concept formation and integrated thinking levels one to five, constructive and destructive behaviours, introvert/extrovert, perceiving/judging – who on earth am I anyway?
So this was all running around in my head this morning as I sat on the train and opened my kindle!Bible. Psalm 84. I got distracted during the first verses, staring out of the window trying to work out my key strengths and weaknesses. Do I really do that? Is that really my primary focus? What is my main motivation? How do I even begin to work this out?
My kindle flicked to screensaver and reminded me that the Psalm has more than three verses. Read on …
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion
Constructive behaviours are those that not only enable you to be fully effective but also create an environment in which others can be fully effective. It’s about facilitating organisational effectiveness rather than merely personal effectiveness.
I don’t know much about the Valley of Baca, but I think it’s significant that those walking through ‘make it a place of springs’ [emphasis mine]. It was not a place of springs before they walked through. I have a picture of a foot, stepping on soft ground, creating an imprint from which water gushes up. Creating a space for growth and abundance. Is that not an illustration of constructive behaviours?
They go from strength to strength …
A psalm about personal development? A psalm about leadership?
Walking from the station into the office, my mp3 player starts playing All I Need is You and I feel like a burden is being lifted from my shoulders. I have strengths, I have weaknesses, I have destructive behaviours as well as (I hope) some constructive ones. I want to get to the stage where my presence, my imprint, creates space for growth and effectiveness rather than shutting it down. But this isn’t about me. It’s not about what I can do. I am not directing my own steps, or planning my own steps.
This is about the path that God wants me to walk. I believe that He’s affirming where I am and what I’m trying to do, but is also reminding me gently that He called me into this environment and He is the one transforming me. He is my key strength and without Him, I am nothing but weakness.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you …