“So when Jesus directs us to pray, ‘Thy kingdom come,’ he does not mean we should pray for it to come into existence. Rather, we pray for it to take over at all points in the personal, social, and political order where it is now excluded: ‘On earth as it is in heaven.’”
- Dallas Willard
Maybe it is the fact that I sort of raised myself, making many of the decisions in my formative years that an adult typically helps guide. Maybe it is the uglier self-protective side of my Enneagram 8 shining through. Maybe it is the orphan spirit in me that sort of feels like I am on my own and in my own category.
But for whatever reason, I’ve never really been affected much by the wealth or power of other people. I have had a relatively easier time being around people of significant means and not being particularly affected by that fact. It has served me really well:
when apparently everyone at my university seemed to come from a dramatically better financial position and only a few of us worked full-time jobs
when my position professionally (though not my title) required me to be in rooms with the most powerful people making the biggest decisions
where living on the financial fringe of a very affluent neighborhood meant that much of the privilege others enjoyed were not ours to have
Surprisingly, I was very comfortable in all those environments. That ability was not really challenged again until I entered the arena of coaching. Though I engaged in hundreds of “coaching” conversations a year avocationally, would it change if money entered into the equation vocationally? The man who first identified me as a coach was fearless, undaunted, and seemed to ask the questions no one would ask and say the things that no one would say.
He also had a lot of freedom of movement. He wasn’t really relying on the person sitting across from him to financially provide for his way of life. I assumed it was that freedom that allowed him to be such a staggeringly good coach. When he identified gifting in me as a coach, my heart answered “yes”, but I knew I wanted to be the kind of coach he was and would likely never enjoy the kind of freedom I associated with his audacity.
That tension is reconciled in almost every coaching conversation I have. Before every engagement with a team or individual, I go through a pretty rigorous prayer process to consecrate, reveal, take authority, declare, and submit. I clear the air and the motivations of my heart.
It is hard to hear and see the heart of the Father when you are seeing dollar signs.
It has been essential, and I believe it is working.
Last week I spent time with three teams of people. One was with our largest and wealthiest client, the second was with a growing partnership where the billing is a small fraction of the largest, and the third was with a small practice where there was no expectation of remuneration for the coaching.
All were beautiful in their own way. All were very pleased with the deliverable and seemed to be deeply impacted by the process. I honestly feel like I approached all three with a similar heart. My desire to help them find the best versions of themselves was not correlated to dollars, size, or power. I celebrated the victory from the week and deeply enjoyed the process with all three.
But it is Monday morning. Our enemy prowls. I have a full week of individual one-on-ones and two group interactions ahead of me. I will be consecrating, asking for revelation, taking my place in his authority, declaring the Kingdom, and submitting to him. Out of necessity.
This is the work of the Kingdom and all have a place, have everything in common, and the ways we assign power and authority here in this world have no jurisdiction in that one. It is about taking my place and helping everyone else find theirs.
How aware are you of the power and wealth others seem to hold in contrast to you?
Does it affect the way you behave around them?
What needs to change in order for you to interact with them with more of the culture of the Kingdom?