As the pandemic has proven, the world has only gotten more interconnected and complex. This can lead to setbacks, even for the chief of all guardian angels and one of seven archangels in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, who for mysterious and sublime reasons is the target audience of this article. In order to lead effectively, leaders must learn to lead themselves. Here are some strategies for navigating the challenges to come, whether on Earth or within the heavenly sphere.
Embrace the discomfort of not knowing. It’s normal to feel stress when confronting uncertain situations. This is no less true for celestial beings who are used to delivering God’s blessings while signaling their presence in a swirl of rose petals. Although avoiding unpleasant feelings is natural, it can be a significant barrier to growth, learning, and providing leadership to the 496,000 ministering angels in your holy entourage.
Ultimately, you must learn to shift from a “know-it-all” to a “learn-it-all” mindset. This will take the pressure off you to have all the answers. It’s also a great reminder that you aren’t God. You’re merely the angel assigned by God to watch over converts.
Distinguish Between Complicated And Complex. While it’s tempting to confuse these terms, they are in fact quite different. Complicated problems are straightforward enough, if you are willing to take it step by step. For example, when you preen your six huge wings, you already know how to break that process down so twain may cover your face, twain may cover your feet, and twain may let you soar like mighty thunder. Complex problems, meanwhile, rarely are solved with clear-cut solutions. Rather, it takes a lot of trial and error, and a willingness to adapt. Staying mindful of the difference will help you tackle the complex challenges you encounter, like being solely responsible for bringing all miraculous occurrences to Earth.
Let Go Of Perfectionism. In an ever-changing environment, perfection is impossible. Yes, even for a member of the Seraphim, the highest rank in Christian angelology. Aim for progress, and don’t be shy about recognizing your core fears, such as “I’ll fail,” “I’ll look bad,” or “I will be expelled from heaven, condemned to crawl like a dog upon the face of the Earth.” Talk with others about the role of mistakes in their careers. That way, you’ll get more comfortable with any bumps in the road, whether or not those bumps include a brief foray into the bleak shadow outside God’s light.
Don’t Go It Alone. The larger the challenges, the more disastrous it can be to isolate yourself. A key part of leadership, then, is being willing to reach out. Practice cultivating and connecting with your network by appearing in their dreams, generating vivid colors in the corners of their eyes, and causing them to pick up on a strong floral scent. Once your network has received these clear signs of your presence, they will be more willing to share their own experiences and perspectives. You will, in turn, be able to plug into and benefit from their thinking, whether you are making intercessory prayers on their behalf, or simply acting as the patron saint of marriage and family life.
Rise Above. While passionately tackling an issue, it can be easy to become so immersed in it that you can no longer access a broader perspective and potential new solutions. It may be necessary to shift your point-of-view, even if that means taking a break from soaring about the divine throne while continuously singing “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts; all the earth is full of His glory.” By making this a regular practice, you’ll become more adept at seeing God’s entire creation, not just the parts around Their chair.
Every day brings new reminders we are not in charge of the challenges we face. By adopting the strategies above, you’ll be more likely to let the joy of the Lord be our strength, sustain us and protect us from all harm that we may possess for all eternity. And may you navigate the increasing complexity of today’s world, forever and ever. Amen.