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Greetings dear friends & welcome to my world again this week. I have been away quite often lately, Auckland, Porirua, Blenheim, & then Dunedin. Hence some difficulty finding time between commitments, travel, writing. No apologies however, tis the Mako season & this weekend back to Auckland for the final. We have been in this position five of the last seven years with only one win & as I understand Auckland have won the championship 18 times… We are but the minnows…
Susan Boyle was nothing more than contestant 43,212 when she stepped on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent. As a forty-seven-year-old church volunteer, it was a big step to sing on national television. Little did she know how this one performance would forever change the trajectory of her life. Within nine days of the audition, videos of Boyle had been viewed over 100 million times.
It is the stuff dreams are made of. We love it when the underdog becomes top dog. We love it when somebody small makes it big, when a no one becomes someone.  Maybe it is because we picture ourselves standing on the stage & performing in front of the cheering crowds.
I would be lying if I told you I have not had those pictures run through my mind. The truth is, being known, admired & respected makes us feel important. But what if the plan for our life is not to give one a Susan Boyle moment? What if our calling is to relative obscurity?
Obscurity can be a bitter pill to swallow. Almost everyone loves to talk about great people who changed their world. I think deep down everyone longs to be part of a great movement.  It would be great if the chapter ended there, leaving us inspired by an exponential potential of faith.
But this life is not all there is. One of the great questions every leader must answer is, “Am I willing to serve in obscurity?”
The first significant leadership role was relatively obscure. I came there fresh out of a much larger office in one of the big cities. I was naïve, optimistic, & full of ambition. After two years though, my grandiose visions had degenerated into the hard work of my role @ the time. Whilst enjoyable, the next place in a bigger city again had more potential, where there was a greater opportunity for growth.
During those days I remember flying to an interview about a possible position. Afterward I walked onto the lobby & called my wife. I told her, “If I were them, I would not hire me. I am not what they are looking for.” Sure enough, the following Tuesday I received the call I knew was coming. Even so, it was devastating. I vividly remember sitting at my desk extremely disappointed. I did not want to be anonymous. I wanted to be sought out, not left out. Obscurity was not part of my plan.
I eventually did move to another city. And then another three. I wish I could tell you I had learned to be fully content where I was, however, this would not be true. But in those days something began to work which continues to this day.
Today however, is work involving…

  • Contentment in my current assignment
  • The potential of personal growth
  • My willingness to find peace & serenity
  • My view of “true” success
  • Finding my significance
 There is always discomfort when refining your character.  It can be hard & painful. It can force you to face some motives & beliefs which are necessary. 

So, let me challenge you this week to sit quietly with the question “Am I willing to live & serve in obscurity?” With the exception of our Tasman mighty Mako boys after the main game this weekend. The ABs will simply be a curtain-raiser…

I hope my comments each week are helpful dear readers; & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes.

Kenn Butler
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