I’ve never met Katie M. Reid in real life, but we’re over-the-ocean kindred spirits nonetheless. She’s a profound encouragement to me – a beautiful, selfless friend who takes Jesus very seriously, and herself, not so seriously. She’s a writer and speaker who helps others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She inspires people to embrace their identity in Christ and live out their God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea is one of her favorite things. What a joy to welcome her to this space today! (Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
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I am no great person. I have only been able to point the way in a few things. After me will come those who can read and interpret the signs, the great of the world. I am only the trailblazer.
-George Washington Carver
On a whim, I registered for a highly-regarded conference that will be held in Texas.
Amidst the backdrop of our midwestern farming community, I crunched numbers to see if I could afford the airfare and three night hotel stay necessary to attend this event. I considered how this conference could propel me professionally and how it would be a valuable opportunity to network with those in my field.
Here’s the problem: I was so focused on how this event might benefit me that I had overlooked a much better motivation for attending.
Instead of being served I can serve others and be a source of encouragement to them. Instead of climbing the ladder faster I can go lower and even hold the ladder so that others can climb higher.
Could it be that we are more effective leaders when we allow others to lean on us so they can become more successful?
Giving of ourselves for the betterment of the team is more fulfilling than just being in it for ourselves.
When we think of past and present “greats” we don’t often look behind, beside or beyond them, but my guess is that they had a parent, spouse, co-worker or friend who helped them shine, succeed, and go further than they would have gone alone.
Instead of waiting for the next big thing, what if we become smaller in order to help someone else become bigger?
This reminds me of one of the biblical greats, John the Baptist, who said, “He [Jesus] must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30, NIV). John did great things but he chose to use his life to point to another that was greater than he.
Then there is the greatest of them all, Jesus. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45, NIV).
You have been entrusted with talents, gifts, and abilities. Are you spending them on yourself or offering them to help others?
I am going to figure out a way to attend the conference because I have found lasting motivation for attending.
I want to go hold the ladder for someone else so that they can climb higher. Sure I have lots of selfish ambitions left that need to be filtered through but as I lean that ladder up, so that someone else can reach new heights, I learn to lead well; following the example of a few greats that have gone before me.
Let’s work to make Jesus known by the way we treat those in our family, vocation, and community.
Let’s discover great joy by going lower and holding the ladder for others.
P.S. If you are a writer, access the free writer’s guide, Ladder 2 Rooftop, and sign up to receive the quarterly newsletter with encouragement and ideas.
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Walking in Grace is on shelves where books are sold in South Africa and the USA, and worldwide on Amazon (Kindle and paperback editions). Because we all want to keep on spreading truth, courage and the hope of Jesus, by leveraging our time, passion and potential to do the Next Right (ordinary) Thing – right?
Here’s what’s on the menu, if you’re reading this in an email: