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Yep. It’s Hot.

I had never heard of a “heat dome” before this summer.


I remember as a child traveling several times from northern Kentucky to Pensacola, Florida in a Bel Air station wagon with my older brother and sister—pre-air conditioning, mind you—during the heat waves of July. And before expressways. It was the Pensacola Death March, the vacations from hell.


Years ago while working in downtown Cincinnati, I was eating lunch in the city center called Fountain Square under a shady spot of relief from the 90 degree-plus noon heat. Relief is a relative term. Men folded up their sport coats, loosened their ties, and held condensating cans of Coke to their foreheads. Women glistened.


Bounding onto the square came three elementary-aged inner city kids, looking like ragamuffins from a Dickens novel. They leaned over the edge of the large one-hundred-fifty year-old fountain called “The Genius of Water” and dipped their hands into the coolness. It was only moments before they were completely in the fountain…singing, jumping, splashing and thoroughly delighting themselves with water, oblivious to the office workers surrounding them. It was a baptism of fun; immersion in the only escape from an unforgiving heat. I’m sure most of us sophisticated adults would have traded places in a heartbeat if we had an ounce of disinhibition.


I remember sitting there thinking of the verse: Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. PROVERBS 37.4   It took nothing more than city water to create that much fun. Eventually, and reluctantly, they were chased out of the fountain by a policeman.


If cornered, we adults long for that kind of simplicity. I wished in that moment that my heart could delight in God being my Father as much as the street kids could with something no more complicated than cool water in a fountain. It didn’t take much for celebration to happen. The corollary goes like this:


1.  I’m hot

2.  Here’s water.

3.  And it’s good.


Simple delight. Let’s see if I understand the pattern spiritually:


1.  I’m miserable.

2.  Here’s God’s presence.

3.  And it’s good.


What happens when I simply delight myself in God? I already know the answer according to the verse: He gives me the desires of my heart. It seems to me that I can interpret that two ways: He gives me what I deeply long for; or He gives my soul totally new desires. I have a feeling that both are somehow the answer. We are probably wired more holistically than we imagine.


Leaders with activistic temperaments can easily forget that in our pursuit of leading people from here to there, we can overheat and lose sight of the marathon run that leadership is. A little delighting and playfulness couldn’t hurt. And when we stop to dip our hands and hearts into the coolness of the true Genius of Water, we can come away with our deepest desires filled…and more.


It only takes the recognition that He is there. And we just need to jump in.


Dave Workman | The Elemental Group


Every healthy organization is marked by four essential traits: Integrity, Passion, Servanthood, and Imagination. With a practitioner perspective, author Dave Workman offers common sense guidance and tools to maximize leadership. Filled with insight, humor, and reflective exercises, this is an indispensable exploration of these four universal values. Check out Elemental Leaders: Four Essentials Every Leader Needs...and Every Church Must Have.


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