disability


With recent economic events, cultural shifts and ministry adjustments our disability leaders are under greater pressure than ever as they navigate their organizations and programs through this treacherous era. These challenging moments are consuming some, scaring others and isolating a community further. Living with disability has taught me many things about life, about family and has crafted my leadership immeasurably. Additionally, this wheelchair I sit has enhanced my learning about pressure, its effect upon us, the dangers pressure can have, and the benefits it can bring. Here are a few of my lessons.

The first lesson is to be familiar with your pressure points and the underlying causes for the pressure. I have a couple friends that have battled with chronic pressure sores. Occasionally, they have to be evaluated through a process called “pressure mapping.” This exercise tells them where their chair seating supports them and where the source of stress in coming from. The bottom line, pardon the pun, if you don’t identify the source of your irritation, your conflicts will create deep and lasting wounds. Unfamiliar pressure can lead to huge gaps in leadership and result in unnecessary scaring. 

Additionally, pressure reveals our need for support and identifies where you are supported. A fundamental lesson of disability is that one cannot be successful on one’s own. God did not design us to stand without having others to bear our burdens. Pressure will teach one how to depend on others and upon whom it is safe to rest your load. Idea: if you are experiencing a heavy weight, invite 2-3 trust confidants to coffee and share with them your pressure and let them assist you in letting off the steam.

Finally, understand the benefits of pressure. During a recent small surgical procedure, I noticed that the surgical team periodically put pressure on my the site they were working on. In the procedure the pressure had two primarily purposes. One it minimized the bleeding and, secondly, it minimized the scaring. Every leadership pressure will have a positive opposite. It may creatively redesign of your goals, staff or expectations; it may be that it will expose your strengths or weaknesses; or it may be that it will cause you to become extremely focused. The real benefit comes in the testing of one’s skin, sort of speak, that pressure brings.

Regardless of which outcome becomes revealed in the process of leadership, assessing your points of pressure is vital to achieving long-term leadership success.

Share a thought on leadership and pressure with our readers by making a comment below.

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By Jim Hukill

Some would say that it is not for us to question God. He is after all the creator of all things. Perhaps! However, it appears to me that God’s shoulders are big enough for us to rest our perplexing inquires upon. In the midst of suffering/pain, human nature lifts its voice and screams, “Why, God, why?”

Many of the greatest heroes of the bible confronted God with questions that demanded a divine response (Moses, Jonah and Job). The authors of Psalms & Habakkuk are included in this list.

As with many questions of ‘why,’ there is buried beneath the surface a feeling of injustice. Human inquires, even demands for God to give some accounting for the seeming unfairness.

Listen to the crushing anguish plea of the prophet Habakkuk. “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:2-4 NIV)

The disappointment we get from reading these verses from Habakkuk is within the context of when one sees the injustice of life and feels helpless in changing the circumstances. This suffrage rips and tears at the fiber of one’s soul until the hurt is so intense that it demands a response from the human suffer.

Yet, as human kind, we find ourselves in a place where no other species on earth ever reside. We are suspended on the swinging bridge of reason between suffering and emotional resolution. The proverbial space we call “Why?” Enormous insecurity seizes us with a desperation for an heroic act and a stabilizing command for calm. There between the crisis and the meaning of it all come the insatiable questions…

Why, God, why?

Who is responsible for…?

How did this happen?

What did I do to deserve this?

What’s next?

What do I do now?

Where do go for here?

On and on they go. The more the questions come, the more unstable our lives become. The greater the instability, the more complex and distressed the question. Our appetite for reason and resolve grows insatiable until we are sucked into a vacuum of personal despair.

There is so much to say about those questions that scare us, stare at us, taunt us and perplex us. Maybe soon I’ll speak more of these inquires to our maker. But for now I’ll leave you with perhaps one response resounding through the hall of heaven from the almighty Himself…

GOTCHA!

There in the middle of our human suffrage we become desperate for Him to speak. In a web of uncertainty we are desperate to hear Him. We are right where He wants us; weak, worn out, collapsed desiring to hear His voice.