Thursday, August 7, 2008

We Ain't Going Nowhere

I did battle with the DMV and lost yesterday. It seems that one slight mistake takes volumes of paperwork to overcome, and one accident, no matter what the insurance companies promise, take months to rectify. I've never had the best of luck when it comes to having all the right forms at state agencies, but yesterday was worst than most. Someone with a little bit of power wielding it as if they were the queen of England during the height of the Empire.

It has got me thinking about authority and power. How the weakest people when given a little bit of power, lord it over others. The strongest people, when given some authority, hold it gently, and are willing to share it and give it way if necessary. I have known priests and bishops of both kinds, and to my disappointment, there seem to be more who wield power than hold it gingerly. The most wonderful leaders, and the most influential authorities are, for me at least, those who are invitational, welcoming and not enamored of their own power. Too often, a little bit of power goes to one's head, and the role and person become enmeshed to the down fall of everyone.

In this very political season, both in the Church and in our country, I hope to have the eyes and heart to see and know true leaders. Leaders who walk humbly with others, not over others. I pray that God will infuse the Church with a deep humility, knowing the little authority clergy and bishops have is a gift of God and entrusted by the people. May we show our children, in this generation, that power does not have to mean abuse, that leadership is not domination and that those who lead can share their authority and power lovingly with others. As I wait for my new used car to be registered, and it will be, some day, may I have the patience and kindness to interact with those whose authority is so minuscule that they feel the exercise of that authority to be life-giving to them. May we all hold what authority we have lightly, that God may use us for the transformation and healing if the world around us.

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