I love movies where the main character is good but lives in the shadows. It’s more realistic. There’s some past that torments the would be hero until he inevitably overcomes its and lives in the light.
You see, today too many people want to be in the light without going through their time in the shadows. We want that stage without the back room, we want to be served without serving, we want the microphone without the prayer.
I’m guilty of this everyday. I have a message for the world and all I want to do is scream it from the rooftops! But I haven’t finished climbing the dark, dingy stairs.
I feel like I’ve been climbing those stairs so long. I remember when I started, the stairs were decently lit, only a little dirty but I wasn’t worried. As I began to climb I smelled a bit of mustiness but nothing that would make me turn back. I told myself it was just a few more flights, it would be easy. After those few more flights, the stairs had gone from just a little dirty to pretty dirty, not something I couldn’t handle but probably something I wouldn’t have entered into in the beginning. It’s ok though, just a few more flights.
I keep climbing and with every new flight there is a new level of smell and dirtiness. “What have I got myself into?” I quietly ask myself, but I know it’s only a few more flights from being over. Another flight and the smell is now over powering, I pull my shirt over my nose but it’s seeping in from everywhere. The walls are stained, the lights are flickering, I can’t see them but I can here the faint scratching of rats feet as the scurry out of the way, there are puddles of God knows what that I am walking through.
I can’t really turn back at this point, I mean I could but I really don’t know what I’d be going back to anymore. And, I’m sure this time, it’s just a few more flights…
I’d really love to tell you the ending but I can’t. I’m not there yet.
I really can’t compare my situation to what Job went through but it mentally feels similar. I’ve literally yelled at God and I constantly struggle with my anger.
I’ve been told I just need the Joy of the Lord! OK! WOW! Yeah, come join me on this flight of stairs and then we’ll talk.
Did Job just need the Joy of the Lord? Nope. He needed to keep climbing, just like I do.
Don’t get me wrong, my hope is in Jesus and what keeps me going is that I know whatever God has in store must be huge because the pain of this trial is huge.
I think the part that hurts the most is everyone has advice but only a few have actually been there. It’s kind of like that like that cliche, “Opinions are like…” You can finish it your head. I did and do, out loud most of the time.
Back to the mentorship and leadership part of this…
Most people, when they hit that second or third flight, run back towards the entrance, back towards what’s comfortable because they don’t want the pain.
You see I have a great mentor that has been to the roof already, and instead of staying in the spotlight he walked back into the gloom and is pulling me and sometimes pushing me onward when I think it’s too hard.
Someday, when I climb out into the light, I’ll stop long enough to tell my story and then I’ll run right back into the shadows to pull the next person up with me because their story will probably be better than mine anyway…
As a leader or a mentor, you are made in the shadows. The shadows are where your foundation in laid. If you try and grow yourself in the light you’ll blow over with the wind.