THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
SURVIVING AND THRIVING - 3
It is the third day and third stage of my Pilgrim Walk along
the Camino de Santiago. God continues to speak.
me share with you 7 additional principles on “How to
Survive as a Servant Leader, and Even Thrive.”
#15: God provides for His beloved children, even in the simplest
of pleasures. There were a number of places where blackberries
grew wild. We picked them every now and then. Sweet and delicious!
We didn’t need the berries to sustain us, but God provided
them anyway. It was a joy to simply pick them off the bush.
God provides for the birds of the air (they like berries,
right), so why not His children? Always be attentive to the
little joys in life and be grateful. God delights in giving
you such little pleasures.
#16: God allows the bad to come with the good, so don’t
be disappointed when bad things happen to you. The berry bush
also has large thorns. As I was eating the berries today,
I noticed red in my hand. I thought it was the berry juice,
but it was blood. I had been pricked. Such is life. At times
we are just not careful and so get into trouble. At other
times, God just allows it, for His own purposes. Pain is salvific.
Dwell not on the bad or the pain, but always on the good that
such pain can bring.
#17: Continue to push on to the goal, a life of holiness and
service in the Kingdom. Whenever I stopped, to rest or to
gaze at the view or even to jot down my reflection, the other
pilgrims quickly passed me by. The camino of course was not
a race, and yes, we should stop at times. But don’t
get too engrossed with what does not pertain to your life
in Christ and mission. Don’t be unnecessarily delayed
in your Christian walk. As a pilgrim, always keep your eyes
fixed on Jesus, and your pace at a satisfactory level. Don’t
get left behind!
Principle #18: Your pain is your opportunity to pray for others,
offering it up for their intentions. My trek today took longer
than usual, because I had the usual deep pain in my knee joints,
and even my right knee gave in. I then had all that time to
think of all those in need and of all the prayer requests
sent to me. Unless your gift is intercession, how many of
us actually take time (or a lot of time) to intercede for
others? When you are in pain and circumstances give you time,
that is a gift to you so you can intercede for others. An
extended time of pain offered up for the needs of others is
your gift to them. In the Lord, everything is indeed gift.
#19: In community, you never walk alone. On my first day of
the camino, I did not make use of a baston or walking
stick. On the second day I used one. On this third day I used
two! My knee joints needed support. You will also face problems
and difficulties. At times you act alone, and it can get lonely
at the top. But if and when you need support, it is there.
Make use of all the support provided for you. Go to your brethren
for a shoulder to cry on, to get advice or counsel, to enlist
help for a particular work. Do not hesitate. This is what
community is about.
#20: For those who are married, your spouse is your companion
and staunchest support. On today’s walk, I continued
to be afflicted by deep pain in my knee joints, this day even
more that the first two. My right knee eventually gave in.
My wife Gerry kept by my side most of the time and gave me
timely support. When I had to walk backwards on downward slopes,
she was my guide and companion. You too will have many co-pilgrims
in your walk through life, but only your spouse is your constant
helpmate. You may have spousal problems and even conflict,
but at the end of the day, your spouse is the one who is there
for you. Cherish your spouse.
#21: Work hard but also have your time of leisure and recreation.
The treks were difficult for me, given my knee joint pains.
But the joy of finishing every leg was exhilarating. Then
I could have a late lunch of my favorite pulpo (octopus)
and clara de limon (a local blend of beer with lemon).
Then our small group would do some sightseeing and have fellowship.
The women in the group would have their massages. Enjoy your
work, but also enjoy your leisure, including quality time
with your family. Recharge and refresh and recalibrate.
will agree with me that the work of a servant leader is difficult
and at times even thankless. But know that you indeed are
privileged to be called and chosen. And of course, I thank
you for your work. More importantly, God thanks you. God bless