Today I was reminded of the great transformation from Genesis 32 where Jacob (whose name means “schemer”) finally finds himself in a situation he can’t deke, duck, or dance his way out of. The guy who was always able to slip out of trouble is caught in the grip of someone who can’t be shaken off. After battling all night he is released to go on in life with a permanent limp and a new name, Israel (which means “He struggles with God”). It turns out that Israel is much more useful and deeply connected to God than Jacob ever was.
I’m nervous around leaders of any age who don’t have that limp; who never seem at a loss and always have complete confidence in their direction. They seem impenetrable, which is dangerous.
I’m drawn to those who have faced struggle, failure, and deep disappointment and continue on transformed. Not with the struggles all behind them, but with the quiet faith that doesn’t guarantee results or rely on their self assured abilities. I’ve always loved drawing out that sincerity in others.
I’m becoming a little bit afraid that one of the things I may find myself doing in the next few years is being with Jacobs as they become Israels. I much prefer arriving on the scene after the struggle and offering first aid and encouragement. Being present when the wounds are inflicted is scary, it may expose more of my own frailties than I want to display.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Chris Wignall's post "Why I Don't Trust You" is so good.
Posted by Jared at 3:21 PM