THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
SURVIVING AND THRIVING - 7
This is Day 7 of our Camino. The final leg is
tomorrow. It has been another challenging but exhilarating
trek. The Lord continues to speak. Here are another 7
principles on “How to Survive as a Servant Leader,
and Even Thrive.”
#43: Do not neglect prayer and the Bible. On the camino,
most of the time I used two walking sticks, one on each
hand. This was due to my knee pains. I could never have
made it through the ups and downs if not propped up by
my two bastones. You also need help in your Christian
walk. You need tools by which you grow in the Lord. The
most basic are prayer and the Bible. Of course there are
also our formation courses, fellowship, service and the
sacraments. But what you need to do each and every
day is to pray, and to read, meditate on, and study
the scriptures. Invest yourself in daily prayer and the
Bible, and you will be properly propped up in your Christian
walk and service.
#44: Don’t be overly spiritual but make use of secular
things God provides for your journey. Because of my knee
pains, at various times I made use of pain killers, massages,
muscle-relaxant spray, knee supports, and walking sticks.
If you are sick, pray for the Lord’s healing but
also take medicine or go to the doctor. If you need something
from God, do not just claim it in faith, but also do your
human effort to try to achieve what you want to happen.
If there are disputes or conflicts in community, do not
just lift these up to God, but intervene and try to do
something about it. If God wanted to do all the work Himself,
He would not have needed to appoint you, right? Your assurance
is that if you do your part, He will provide whatever
is needed to bring about the right fruit.
#45: There is one path to heaven, the path of righteousness,
but many ways of walking that path. One can do the camino
on foot, by bicycle, or on a horse. Or in my case, at
times also borne on angels’ wings. Most peregrinos
are on foot, some on bicycles, but I saw no one riding
a horse (except the tourist police). You have chosen the
way of CFC-FFL and as a servant leader. But many others
are in different groups, ministries, movements and organizations,
doing many different services. There are different spiritualities--charismatic,
contemplative, as well as the spiritualities of the religious
congregations and new ecclesial movements. For us there
is now also LCSC. This the richness of the Catholic Church.
You should respect them all, not think our community is
better than others, collaborate if there is an opportunity,
and bless each other. It is your choice to walk, bike
or ride a horse. Just get to the end.
#46: Push yourself as you strain toward the goal. Today
I exerted greater effort, not deterred by the more difficult
path than that of the last two days. Perhaps it was because
I was nearer the end. Perhaps I needed to show contempt
for the devil’s efforts at stopping me through pains
in my knees and back. Perhaps I wanted to see what I could
accomplish if I simply cooperated with God’s grace
and strength. You too must give more and more of yourself,
not less and less. And if you are not tired or don’t
have pains, you might not be striving hard enough! Jesus
expended himself in order to serve, not even having time
to eat, and then giving his all including his life. Look
not to ease and comfort, but to pleasing the Master who
knows that the harvest is rich but is simply waiting on
his laborers. Fishing and harvesting are hard work.
#47: Know that blessings come out of suffering and pain.
Because of the pain in my knees, I used two walking sticks,
especially on the ups and downs in the path. To relieve
pressure on my knees, I leaned on those walking sticks.
In doing so, I exercised and strained my arms and shoulders.
Thus the camino not only strengthened my legs
and body through the brisk walking, but strengthened my
arms as well. Without the knee pain, I would not have
used the sticks. No pain, no gain. You will surely encounter
difficulties, trials, oppression and persecution. Don’t
get depressed. God will use those to purify and strengthen
you. Look at the positive caused by the negative. Look
at the silver lining in every dark cloud. Just persevere.
#48: Spot and help mold the Timothies. During today’s
trek, there were many young people. One big group probably
had 50. Not all youth today are into sex or vices. Some
are in pilgrimages, and many strive to live pure. In our
community, the next generations are in place. We have
young but very capable leaders. There are the young couples.
There are the many new singles coming in from universities
who are top-notch. They are the future of our community.
For the future to be secured, you need to spot these unpolished
diamonds and nurture, train and mold them. As Paul told
Timothy in today’s reading, have no contempt for
their youth, but set an example for them. So be concerned
not just with your work, but with the next generation
that will continue that work.
#49: Have a devotion to Mama Mary. At the very start of
our camino, the evening before the actual walk, we heard
Mass at the Mosteiro de San Xiao, a Benedictine
monastery. After the Mass with the monks, the priest-celebrant
prayed over and blessed the peregrinos present,
with a song to Mary. The refrain was: “Ven con nosotros
al caminar, Santa Maria ven.” I was in tears. My
beloved Mother was going to be with me on the camino.
She herself traveled some distance even when she was six
months pregnant to help her relative Elizabeth, then later
traveled a greater distance to Egypt with her newborn
Son to escape Herod. Mary knows the difficulties and pains
of such journeys. As her son, she would also care for
me. You too are her son. Be a devoted son. Love her, look
to her for wisdom, ask her to intercede with God for you,
venerate her, honor her, rest in her embrace, help ensure
that all ages will call her blessed. Pray the rosary every
day. And as it is always a tandem of Jesus and Mary whenever
there is confrontation with the enemy, march under her
banner as you go off to war.
I am almost through with my pilgrimage to Santiago de
Compostela, but our common pilgrimage and service continue.
May you be a blessing to those entrusted to your care.
And be assured that you will be bountifully blessed as