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                                                Soul Streams…

Greetings dear reader & welcome to my world again this week. In my last two articles I spoke on My Soul & the need I have found for times of solitude. In developing the topic further today, I have been reflecting of more of the specifics, & particularly an example of how I am personally changing.

So my friends, who is the most difficult person you have ever had to lead? Did the face of somebody & their name just pop into your mind?
When I first thought of this question, the name to immediately pop into to my mind was Barry. He was the manager of an office where I worked for two years in Dunedin when I was appointed in a comparative role for which he regretfully had no control over. I was a red-headed & hot-blooded & just making beginning essentially my first leadership role. I was 29 & he was near retirement.
I still cannot believe I was turned loose on this extremely conservative environment at my age. Sometimes, I feel like I should go back and apologize. I was very zealous & passionate but lacking in wisdom & experience. I was still an apprentice at the time & did not know much about on reflection; but I thought I did.
When I had been there about 6 months one of my colleagues in ‘the other Branch’ working for Barry shook my hand & said “You made it six months. Pretty impressive.”  I said “What are you talking about?”  “Did you not hear?  Barry has been letting everyone know your position & strategy is all wrong. He is his own self-appointed watchdog.”
It is an understatement to say Barry was not easy to work with. He already had his mind made up about everything! He was a know-it-all who had the gift of criticism. He had an opinion on everything & resisted every change we made. Barry was not going to be changed by anyone, much less a 29 year old, wet-behind-the-ears junior.
Did I mention Barry was not easy to work with? However, over the years, I have become intimately acquainted with someone who is even harder to lead than Barry. And this someone is ME!
I want to let you in on a little secret . . . the most difficult, challenging, obstinate, flaky, rebellious, defiant person you will ever lead is YOURSELF. Working with Barry was a cakewalk compared to leading myself.
Dallas Willard said “Our soul is like a stream of water, which gives strength, direction, & harmony to every other area of life.”  You did not create the stream, but you are the keeper of the stream. 
If you are going to lead people effectively, you have to own the health of your own soul.
One of the best days of my life was the day I began to “own” the health of mine. 
You see, there was a season in my life when I had been neglecting my soul. I was busy & active & “doing a lot”, but the stream of my soul was drying up. I was talking & living about a life I was not living or experiencing. I was living the way I was living because of decisions I was making. 
I am the keeper for the streams of my soul. 
In recent years I have been learning a principle & has been changing my life, this is simply good stewardship. Leading yourself well & taking care of yourself is not being selfish. Think about this for a moment… the main thing you have to give is YOU. 
Choosing life, it is a “choice”. And it is your choice. So, today decide to lead yourself well. Today, embrace you, who is the keeper of the stream of your soul dear reader?
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 for another week… I look forward to being with you all again soon.

Kenn Butler
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