Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Body

Paul’s treatise on body is a phenomenal way of communicating the oneness we should have within “The Body”. The themes he addresses are varied and challenging. The diversity in the body is a fact we need to live with or rather celebrate. The self-acceptance of our position in the body, whatever perception we may have of the same, is something all of us need to learn to live daily with. And even if we do not feel part of, we still are part! The diversity which brings wholeness is something which we are expected to celebrate. The sovereignty of God in allowing this diversity for a greater purpose should never be forgotten. And the fact that there might be different parts, but there is only one body and we do not have a life without being part of the body is yet another sobering fact. This should lead us to accepting every part as significant and important. Seemingly weak part are more indispensable and seemingly less honorable needs special care! Something which we should always remember! Seemingly non presentable, need to be treated specially! And so there has to be equal concern for every part. And the pain and honor, we suffer or rejoice together. This is in short from Paul.

I am a bit confused. Which body is he talking about? As I look around I do not see such a body! Or at least I have not been part of such one! May be problem is with me – that I have not accepted, contributed to and celebrated “The Body” which I am part of!

At the same time – Paul left out a few issues. Body parts do not function independently. There are systems which control body function. There are about 10 that we know off. The Cardio-vascular, the Nervous, the GIT etc…and each system has multiple parts and all the parts work in well-coordinated pattern, without which we cannot live a healthy life!  For example, what goes into your mouth – some of it has to come out through the other end within an acceptable time, if not you will end up under a Surgeon’s knife!
The systems not only function within themselves, but also cannot function without support from other systems. Systems function by supporting, interacting, directing, moderating, reorienting, reorganizing, stimulating, in synergy, suppressing….and the list goes on. And if this does not happen, we become unhealthy fast! For example – the air that breathe in, unless it reaches the blood and brain as Oxygen soon, we will end up being unconscious, and on a ventilator in ICU! We function together!

And when one organ fails, the whole system is thrown off into disarray. And usually one organ failure will lead to effects not only on the system but on the other organs and other organ systems. Multi-Organ failure is a well-known crises situation in many illness.  We fail together!

And the support you need to return to health is multi-functional support – the ionotropic, the respiratory, the renal, the gastric, the nutritional…etc. We recover together.

Body was created to function as an integrated whole! Somewhere in our scientific thinking – we have disintegrated our body into organs, parts and systems not realizing that these divisions come out from a rational “boxed in” thinking and that is not all what it is. And thus the growth of “Specialists and specialization”. Recapturing body as an integrated whole can affect business of super-specialists and that may not be commercially acceptable.

How true even in “The Body” too. “Boxing in” divisions of themes, roles, specializations for the sake of efficiency and effectiveness, have we lost the body in the process? Recapturing “The Body” might be unacceptable for efficiency but might do well for the members! Worth a try.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Leadership Paradox (4) The Time and Timing

Once the vision is clear, and the people are being worked with and the communication strategy is clear, then it is just a matter of time! But this is the paradox, because time does not move the way we think it should move and timing is many a times different from the way we anticipate things to fall into place. And finding time to lead is yet another challenge.

Let us look at time first – One issue is, if we need to lead we need to have time! If you are a management professional or trained in Western Educational system (Many in India are part of this!)  – you will decide - X% for leading, Y% for managing, Z% for training A% for personal etc. and try to keep time lines. It never works for most of whom I have come across (including me). There will need to be time for the urgent and critical, the important and strategic, the short term and the long term. There will be many things which will need immediate responses and some which will need reflective responses which will take time. All this in the midst of the regular 8 to 5 responsibilities one holds. So how do you find time – or time find you. The other question is – whose time is it any way – yours or others?

Time to lead is matter of perspective. If one is breathing in and living out the dream or vision, every intervention, interaction, engagement will be through the vision perspective. The questions one raises, the communication one does, the decisions one takes, the reprimands one give – all will be through the vision spectacle, the big picture, and long term glasses. It takes a bit of discipline, learning and unlearning to move from the disintegrated boxed in thinking to integrated holistic thinking. How does one learn – from the Master, who, were ever he went, aligned his interventions, teaching and discussions to the big picture and purpose of coming …a bit of careful reading of his life and life style is a good training and learning tool!

But timing is another issue. When will we see the vision being fulfilled, when will things start to turn around, when will people change? For a professional trained to diagnose and treat, results have to be visible and tangible within a stipulated time. If a surgeon, faster! With “eternity in our hearts” spiritual as we are, do we wait till eternity for things to change? That also raises the question – whose is in control of the timing – of lasting changes we want to see – am I in control? Who holds the timing of change? If “visions which God gives you, are beyond your own time lines” – will we complacently wait? Or push for people to change within the time lines we set? Or give up feeling one has failed since things are taking time to change? Remember – Jesus left the world perceived by the world as a failure! But his followers turned the world upside down!

Paradoxes one has to live with – understanding that many a times we are not in control of change – we are only facilitators of the process!

At best – what we are in control is – the process of developing, communicating, supporting, facilitating and setting up systems to keep up the momentum of the vision journey we are part of. In this journey – we can definitely put time lines and deliverables for the process and some tangible outputs. 

But in the midst of this it is important to hold on to few facts – One – We cannot change people – either they change themselves or God changes them, and people are key to vision! Two – We are part of a larger, longer and lasting change – and we need to faithfully play our part. We need to keep returning to this daily. Three – the groaning we go through as we wait for change to happen is part of a larger groan – the creation which groans for redemption and change (Rom 8). And there is someone who groans along with us, interceding for us with wordless groans – the Spirit of God. (Rom 8)

And so when we groan and struggle together – there is the definiteness of lasting change in the fullness of time. Because there are greater forces working along with us....

And so timing is “fullness of time” – what does this mean anyway? Something to consider later….

Stations on the Road to Freedom

Dietrich Bonhoeffer(1906-1945) Discipline If you set out to seek freedom, then learn above all things to govern your soul and your sense...