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This week I learned at a seminar about different types of power. Not nuclear, solar, or coal, but the types of power that people have within organizations. Pretty interesting stuff.
There’s power that comes from the position you hold. (The president of a board, for example, has some position power simply because of the office she holds). Then there’s power that comes from your reputation and people’s long history of interacting with you. (Like all power, reputation power can be a good or bad thing.) There’s also power that comes from your ability to gather people behind you; what we call coalition power.
It got me to thinking about the other types of spiritual powers that are out there.
On the dark side, there’s bitterness, unresolved anger, and hopelessness. These all have power to profoundly shape our lives in bad way. We see these powers at work in many our national discussions, don’t we? On the other hand, there’s the power of forgiveness. The power of trust. The power of hope.
It’s funny how I don’t naturally think of these things as sources of power — but they really are. When I chose to forgive, I’m invoking a power that conquers bitterness. When I actually entrust my concerns to God, I’m drawing on the power of trust. When I remember that God invites me to join in the kingdom work of bringing healing and justice, in spite of evil, I’m channeling the power of hope.
Jesus understood all these powers better than anyone. It’s like he had special eyes that could see what types of power were at play in every interaction. It’s because those eyes were filled with love.
If there are “power lines” coming down from heaven, then they must be made of love. Love that sees what human eyes cannot see. Love that sees beyond what is …and understands what can be. Love that is the source of all the best kinds of power.
So I’ve determined that my time of prayer isn’t “checking a box” of virtuous things I’ve done today. Instead, I’m giving my heart the same treatment that my cell phone gets. I’m plugging it into the power source — to let it get recharged.
With time, I’ll have more trust, hope, and forgiveness to fuel my life ... a life (I hope) that is powered by love.