I have sat in front of big businesses’ alter for most of my professional life. I have worshipped with conviction. By definition, I am a believer. I had done what I could to hold the institution up for all to see.
There were many reasons for my belief. With size comes power. Reach creates the opportunity for greater results. Resources are the ultimate answer to any question. If one understood how to make the system work, anything was possible! Size could address any boundary. Size could deal with any obstacles. Size was, ultimately, the answer.
In this context, my goal was to be at the top of the organization. It had be a big institution. I would make it dance. If only I was in charge, everything would be different. My vision and its bulk was the solution.
In the past few weeks, I have met several individuals. As I reflect over their lives, I think their hidden name must have been the Paul one author wrote about. “God did powerful things through Paul, things quite out of the ordinary.” (Acts 19.11) My observations about their lives are more about what is not true than what is.
Their greatness did not come from the organizations that s/he worked for. In fact, I cannot think of a single example where the institution they were affiliated with made a significant difference to their contribution.
The contributions s/he made to those around them were often made in the presence of personal difficulties and uncertainty. The reality of pain and fear was tangibly real.
What s/he did was often hidden from public view while being recognized in the relationship that was touched. I did not see many headlines. I did not hear any stories. I did find humble people that loved their God of Compassion.
I wish I could write each name in bright lights, sharing it with all who would listen. Yet, that is not the reason for their action. They think it is the best way to live. It is a reward in itself. I find myself agreeing.