Confessions of a Budding Realist…

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stick and stones

Short People Got No… Need For Toilet Plungers

… of strengths, limits, liabilities

While in Denver recently doing some city-wide training with leaders, I stayed with some friends. They have renovated a house that is beautiful, ornate… and has old plumbing.

This couple has children that are adults, are out of the house. Both of them are just over five feet tall. Their children are about the same size. Fortunately, they are Hispanic so they have not been tortured by Hobbit jokes (Hobbits look nothing like a Central or South American).

Here’s the problem: I am nearly 6’3″. In ALL WAYS my life is different than theirs for the most part.

Without ruining your appetite for the next 48 hours, I will put this delicately. These kind, wonderful folks were gone most of the day when I arrived. That’s fine by me – I write all day. Just need oxygen, water, a Venti Starbucks dark blend, enough half and half to color the coffee khaki and three Splendas. I’m in my own world(s) for 8 to 12 hours. Nature does call, however. When it did, their flushing mechanism was clearly not designed for people of normal size – IE, over 5 feet tall and all that goes with that (enough said). Upon a search, I discovered they have no plunger. I called them. “We’ve lived there for fifteen years and have never needed a plunger.”

“Do you ever have people over five feet tall here visiting?”

“As a matter of fact, only family visits. You’re right – they are all rather short like us. How did you know?”

“Lucky guess.”

I walked down the street to Wal-Mart and bought them their first two plungers (Sam’s was less expensive but they didn’t need two dozen).

In writing and posting this blog I hope you as a reader can appreciate the risk I am taking with those who – uh, aren’t members of the Servant Evangelism or Steve Sjogren Fan Club.

But hey, I’m game for stepping out on the limb to make a point or two.

1. Leaders, it’s time to face up to our limitations.

The notion of the Peter Principle – we tend to gravitate to our greatest strength – then we take one more step. That last step occurs when others ‘promote’ us and we don’t speak up… when we fail to tell them, “I’m not about this. I’m not qualified. I’m not called. There is no fruit here. I’ve gotta be me.”

Re-read Dr. Peter’s book (you can find it on Amazon). Memorize the simple principles. Pray for utter, cut-throat self-honesty. If you don’t, you are dooming yourself and those around you – most sadly your family who choose loyalty to you in spite of an utter lack of skill, anointing, ‘giddy-up.’

2. With strengths (some think being 6’3″ is a good thing) always come liabilities.

Real short on this. You are a genius at something. SomeTHING as in singular. You may do another thing that is pretty outstanding. There may be a third matter you are way above average. If you are a wise person, you will develop those three – then gather a team around you. You will not need to apologize for being who God made you to be. You will merely need to be brutally honest. To fake or miscommunicate on the fourth matter and beyond…

To quote the prophet, Forrest Gump, ‘That’s all I have to say about that.’

Originally posted 2008-04-28 16:11:31.

Steve has spoken, mentored and modeled to churches and leaders around the world with the simple message that anyone – regardless of their gifting or experience – can be involved in bringing God’s loving kindness to others. His first book, Conspiracy of Kindness has been translated into several languages with more in the works. His first book has sold over 300,000 copies. Altogether his books have sold over 500,000 copies.