For several years my brother, Dr. Rev, traveled the country helping leaders figure out how they tick, which leads to better leadership. In part, Dr. Rev. used a popular survey called Strengthsfinder2.0. (It’s a good thing they did a 2.0 because nobody ever heard of 1.0 from what I can tell, but I digress). The Rev is pretty much at the top of my Top 10 List for guys who know about leadership, so I paid attention and eventually, recently, got around to taking the test myself.
The results tell you your top five leadership skills out of a Baskin Robbins-like 31 flavors (or so… I can’t recall the exact number). I took the test, got mine, which really didn’t make much sense to me, so I sent it to the Rev and asked him for insight. For Free, I stressed. Brotherly love and all that. He obliged. He said I was a Force of Nature.
I liked that sound of that–until I ran into a couple of other people I know who had taken the test. Before I could get the words of out of my mouth, they’d say, “You’re a Force of Nature, right?!” And smile. Now, I wasn’t so sure I liked it anymore. It’s like horoscope folks saying, “Ah… that explains it,” when I tell them I’m a Sagittarius even though I have no idea what that is other than my birthdate. I felt a little left out.
So I called the Rev. back for a little more insight.
“You’re like the wind,” he said.
I love the wind. It explains why I love San Francisco and sailing and all that. The wind is God’s A/C if you ask me. What’s wrong with the wind?
“Well, hell. That’s good, right?” I asked him.
“Not if you’re at a picnic,” he said.
Suddenly all those “ah ha’s” and “I knew its” made sense. Apparently, I’ve blown through a few picnics in my day.
I started to feel exactly like this guy:
It sucks to be a Force of Nature sometimes.
But here’s the key. It’s a “strengths” finder, not a gavel of judgement swung with the heavy thud of indictment. The wind is great in the proper place, like through turbines or sails or on beach with a kite in your hand. It’s all about channelling the wind.
And that’s sort of God’s role in my life. Throughout the hard years of reclaiming my life and getting sober and finding who I really was, I often felt like God was burning me to ash. Then I heard something that changed my view: Do you know the only thing ash is good for? It goes wherever the wind takes it.
It’s not a perfect metaphor, but that’s what I am all about now, blowing where the Spirit of God directs and bringing welcome relief where I can, like the breeze through a window on a stifling hot day.
I recalled the old Keith Green song Rushing Wind.
Rushing wind blow through this temple
Blowing out the dust within
Come and breathe your breath upon me
I’ve been born again
Holy Spirit, I surrender
Take me where you want to go
Plant me by your living waters
Plant me deep so I can grow
I am what I am. This wind within me is God within me and that keeps me sane, and sober and happy and productive and positive and a whole bunch of shit I really like.
The world so often suggests there’s something wrong with the design, wrong with us. But perhaps all this “wrong” stuff is merely the strengths a bit misplaced. Perhaps.