Over the years I’ve noticed how some esteemed church leaders gradually lose their edge. However that process begins, it starts to become noticeable as their small mistakes proliferate. A missed word here, a momentary lapse in judgement there—and after awhile it’s apparent that these formerly great trailblazers are heading towards the time when they won’t be very effective any more. When tiny holes in their capabilities accumulate and slowly diminish the clout of their advice or opinions.
I’m always sad when I see this occurring in the lives of these ground-breaking giants in the faith—folks who have inspired me to seek God’s will for my life and to pursue my callings. To find my own niche as a leader.
As I move inside this seventh decade of life, I’m noticing some of those places where my own effectiveness—creativity, personal influence, shrewd wisdom—is not as sharp as it used to be: Humor that falls flat; opinions whose factual basis is dated; cognition or memory that’s slower; social intelligence that misses obvious cues.
If these thoughts strike a chord with you—you’ve wondered whether you’re losing your edge—I can assure you that it’s probably good that we’re honest and hopeful about this facet of growing older.
One part of me worries about this—especially if I refuse to admit how these tiny mistakes may be adding up. Another part of me is comforted when I realize that those formerly great leaders are still held in high regard, still dearly regarded as friends and mentors, still loved. They somehow find new edges, and work hard to keep honing their lasting capabilities. The same could be true of me, so I’m going to keep being delighted that God can still use me for good.
However edgy I turn out…..
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