There are few times I talk about my faith and spirituality in this blog, though I imagine it becomes evident in what and how I write on a weekly basis. I am a BIG believer that people need to be able to bring their whole selves into the workplace...and what is more important to an individual than their spirituality, their world view, and their faith? I think this happens best when 1) the organization creates the environment in which that can occur; and 2) the individual knows how to do that in a way that is right and proper. All that being said, let me launch into this week's topic...
In the Christian tradition (and especially in the liturgical Christian tradition), this day is one of the highlights of the Christian walk. We call is Good Friday, the day on which we remember the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. I have a friend who grew up in a non-liturgical tradition and he would always wonder why the liturgical church puts so much energy and effort into this day when we really needed to only focus on Easter, that day in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Well, the fact of the matter is you can't get to resurrection except through death. And in the Christian tradition, it is only through that death that we receive life. There is no resurrection without the death...therefore the death is incredibly important - and GOOD. As a child growing up, this paradox was often explained to me through the example of the butterfly who would emerge from the cocoon as a result of the caterpillar dying.
Whether you believe this to be true or not, for me there is great power in understanding this concept and making it a part of my faith and spirituality. My ability to believe this - completely and without doubt - also allows me to live with other paradoxes in my life...and in my organization. There has been much written in the past decade about how leadership is enhanced through paradoxical thinking. Truth is that I have never had a problem with this concept. I can hold two seemingly illogical truths in my head at the same time and not go crazy...and it actually becomes a tool in which my creativity and problem solving is enhanced. My spirituality and understanding of God takes my leadership to a higher level - not because God is blessing me (that concept is definitely NOT part of my theology) but because I can see the world through a set of lenses that is important to how I live out my work...and my life.
So I embrace GOOD FRIDAY - a day in which I and others throughout the world remember and celebrate death. It is a quiet celebration...it is a somber celebration...it is a celebration that often occurs in a darkened room...but it is a celebration nonetheless. When I celebrate death I also celebrate life - because death is a part of life. And that is true in my faith...that is true in my own life...and that is true in my organization.