Wind, uninterrupted, runs its full course. In the wide expanses of ocean, the vast areas of the prairie, or the barren sands of the desert, wind can kick up its heels and dance wildly across the Earth’s surface, playfully, even dangerously. It builds up. It even tears down. It carves intricate designs into stone, blows away dust, and deposits various aggregates in layers of color and size. Such is the case of ideas inside of my head. Clear out a few obstacles and the howling can be heard by anyone standing nearby.
I am in one of my odd spaces of time and thought where I feel the wind of idea, or even the Wind of the Spirit, transforming the surface topography of who I am. Waves or dunes, they build up and are constantly changing shape, size, and orientation. In the end end things are different, even foreign, and remain until the next big wind blows through. Inside of that open area of who I am lie the dust and debris of thoughts and actions of past days. Some of it is blown away. Some redeposited. Some monoliths of thought are being carved by the ideas that are blowing through my mind.
I am wrestling somewhat in the area of patience. My normal pattern of thinking dictated that any project worthy of doing could and should be done yesterday. In the area of vision and ideas I have always been one to sell, to promote, and to energize others into a certain course or action. At the end there is little doubt; I either have made the sale or I have not. Time to move on to the next one.
I am convicted. I am working through the idea that selling the vision, something that I have long done and done well, may be lacking in the faith department. It takes a lot more faith to even explore that thought. I love and hate that word; faith. It fights so much against my natural inclination to take charge and make things happen. I would rather control outcomes in an effort to manage disappointment. On the flip side I prefer the outcomes generated by faith, even though activating faith takes a little more work (ok, a lot more) than controlling.
Instead of selling,I think that I am going to actively pursue what I like to call relational influence. Relational influence isn’t neat and tidy. It does not allow the kind of control to manage disappointment. I think that relational influence honors Christ, allows the Holy Spirit free reign to work, and activates a larger panorama of faith than just the pinpoint focus of a single objective. I am going to apply myself to relational influence and In most areas I am determining to only accept that type of influence over me as well.
Selling is objective conquest and changes the sellee, the intended consumer of your brilliant idea, into an obstacle, a hindrance or a hurdle to be overcome. It devalues and dehumanizes the relationship. Selling is calculated and oft times violent. It has a beginning and an end that can be tied up with a neat little bow and placed into a package. successful or otherwise, once the pitch is concluded there is little doubt as to whether it was a win or a loss. It has a finality to it. Once the idea is sold the commitment is done, finished, kaput!
Relational influence, on the other hand, assumes there is time and is committed to the person as well as the process. There is no conclusion, only the gentle interaction the builds trust both ways and usually ends up in a change of direction for one, both, or neither. All of the control handles are removed as is any standard by which to quantify a win or a loss. Relational influence rejects the very idea of conquest, saying not to the imperious while saying yes to humble peacefulness. By entering into relational influence I show that I value you, who you are, not just what you can do for me. It is human and it is humane.
You may try to sell me. I may buy or I may not. Either way you have walked right past the opportunity to gain something that I believe is even more valuable than your conclusion; my fellowship.