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Spiritual Breakthroughs in Difficult Work Situations – Part 3

May 19, 2010

(Continued from the previous post)

I drove home from work frustrated, tired and spent. My Big Idea had been argued over, stomped on, and dismissed in the course of 30 minutes during  a late afternoon conference. Instead of coming out the hero, I lost complete control of the meeting.

Usually when I get iced out by a colleague or shot down in a meeting, I will either mope around for a few days, or else I will busy myself planning a suitable revenge.

But this time was different.

Because, ironically enough, this fateful meeting-gone-terribly-wrong happened to occur less than 24 hours after the Princeton Leadership & Spirituality Event – the same seminar where I spent two days getting all lathered up around the infinitely positive potential of God’s mighty spirit at work through my leadership position.

Well. Could this unpleasant turn of events be an opportunity to develop my new spiritual leadership skills? Was this a test, of sorts?

As I was driving home, I remembered how Dr. Stephen Payne, a seasoned leadership coach and the head of the Princeton event, recounted stories of leaders slipping into the dreaded spiral of despair and gloom because of performance pressure, corporate politics, projects gone bad, for all sorts of reasons. All of us participants nodded in a sad sort of recognition. We’ve all been there, we said, and we want to rise above it next time. Please, kind sir, how can we access the Spirit to allow God to help us move beyond our lousy circumstances, to do the right thing?

“When you are facing that point of despair,” Dr. Payne told us, “You must remember that you are God’s leader, and that your purpose is far greater than the negative circumstances before you. Do not give in to your fears or negative emotions. Choose to trust that you are loved by God and that He will lead you through to the other side.”

I considered all of this as I began to chant, quietly at first, the affirmation that Dr. Payne had encouraged us to repeat.

“I am God’s leader.” I said to myself out loud, all alone in the car.

“I am God’s leader.”

I repeated the statement, ignoring the stares coming from the cars next to me at the red light. That’s right, stare all you want. It’s just a guy in a car on his way home from a lousy day at work talking to God. That’s all this is!

“I am God’s Leader!”

“I AM God’s Leader!!”

My voice gained confidence and volume with each statement. I began pounding the steering wheel with each affirmation, to add emphasis.

“I AM GOD’S LEADER!” <bam!>

” I AM GOD’S <bam!> LEADER!!” <bam!>

“I <bam!> AM <bam!> GOD’S <bam!> LEEEEAAAAAADER!!” <BAM!>

Approaching the final leg of my trip home, I added a British accent, which sounded even more convincing.

“AYE <bam> AHHHM <bam> GAWD’S <bam> LEYDEH! “<bam!>

By the end of the commute I also determined that “Ray of Light” by Madonna played at full volume was very good theme music for this particular exercise.

As I pulled into the garage, I decided to completely and utterly forget the whole thing for the rest of the night, to enjoy my evening at home, and trust God for the outcome. And that’s exactly what I did.

Click here to continue.

(Thanks to nAncY for the photo.)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2010 5:34 pm

    this is actually fun to ride along on your commute.
    good vid.

  2. May 19, 2010 6:49 pm

    first of all … love that song.

    and because I have soccer on the brain of late, I was thinking the 24 hour rule after part one. with the trust part.

  3. May 19, 2010 8:45 pm

    Or as St. John of the Cross said of how God teaches us:

    “If you were playing chess with someone who had infinite power and infinite knowledge and wanted to make you a master of the game, where would all the chess pieces be at every moment? Indeed, not only where he wanted them, but where all were best for your development; and that is every situation of one’s life.” (“Development” in “Love Poems from God”)

    • May 22, 2010 8:23 pm

      Maureen – Where do you come up with these brilliant quotes for every occassion? I love this – so poignant.

  4. May 19, 2010 9:05 pm


    wow that felt good. i think i like it.

  5. May 20, 2010 8:00 am

    adding the accent – a brilliant stroke.

  6. Melo permalink
    May 20, 2010 8:19 am

    You got 30 minutes for your BIG IDEA?

    Yep, I love how inspiration flows so sweetly, and then wham.

    I am contemplating Maureen’s comment. I may be here for a while… remembering which chess pieces are which and what they can or cannot do. (It’s been a while, what can I say.)

    Must go back and read pt 1 and pt 2.

    🙂 Have a nice day. Play it loud. Keep talking to yourself, and freaking out the commuters. Will say a little prayer for you.

    • May 22, 2010 8:26 pm

      Thanks Melissa – you are a real encourager! And yes, the meeting was supposed to be brief, because, well, everyone had been briefed on the content in bits and pieces up to that point. It really went more like 45 minutes and then I had to leave for a doctor’s appt. while they were wrapping up. I was glad for an exit at that point. Actually, that too was probably a gift of grace. An exit door with time to regroup for the next day.

  7. May 21, 2010 4:24 pm

    Bless you and Dr. Stephen Payne for sharing those words of wisdom. I just passed them along to my husband for encouragement in his current work situation. It is so easy to slip into despair and negative emotions when you’re feeling “abused.” Thank you for the redirect!


  1. Spiritual Breakthroughs in Difficult Work Situations – Part 4 « Shrinking the Camel

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