Cousins touched on some sensitive, hot topic issues I've been struggling with especially lately in regards to leadership. How to deal with never ending cycles of disappointment, frustration, and disingenious emotions can be quite draining. It becomes easy to wall yourself away or even worse, continue doing what's right but doing so without the heart and motivation to be effective. John Maxwwell is famous for saying, "Everything rises and falls on leadership." And while that is true, Cousins message seems to be, "Everything rises and falls on one's understanding and application of leadership." Leadership is more than just "doing" or holding a "title." Effective leadership only happens when we operate in who Christ made us to be and not in who we want to be like. In others, we need to quit trying to preach like each other, teach like each other, lead worship like each other, plan like each other, etc. All this leaves us with is the gratification of emulation. No real change occurs. Christ has called us because He has gifted us and He has gifted all of us uniquely. To try to be anyone but who Christ made you and I to be is demoralizing to self and disrespectful and hateful to the One who made us who knows us better than we know ourselves.
I was in need of this book as I find myself working through my own frustrations, but knowing that God is in control and in that I can take comfort regardless of the outcome. Part of that comfort is trusting God to do what's best. The other part is being able to follow His leading. We must be able to discern the times and seasons. This allows us to stay in what the sports world calls "the zone." It's that place where what we're doing comes natural and easy. And it's in that place that we're the most effective. There are times and seasons to our lives and thus to our ministries and God will lead us and guide us on that pathway. Sometimes the scariest place to be is in the place where one season is eclipsing and a new one is obviously on the horizon. The new season will require the experiences from the last season and will mandate an openness to learn and embrace the newness of the new season and its experiences. And this is God's perfect design. We trust Him to take us further, deeper, and deeper still as we embrace all that He is, all that He desires, and all that He does.