Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The inner ring
A friend of mine was talking about a transcript of an oration given by CS Lewis at the University of London in 1944 called "The Inner Ring"
He says: "I believe that in all men’s’ lives at certain periods, and in many men’s lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local Ring and the terror of being left outside." It's about desire to be included and how that throughout life there are inner rings. Unofficial or even official groupings that we desperately want to be included in or are frightened of being excluded from!
This desire to be associated with certain people or included in certain conversations affects a lot of people. Inner rings will always exist they are not necessarily wrong but they do exist.
Some people want to be near the source of power and that source of power is perceived to be a certain group of individuals or a specific team it's only upon arriving into that inner ring that you realize the power is dissipated.
I have had my own struggle with this over the last year. I was on the international leadership team of 24-7 prayer which then became the international council, with a much smaller UK based core remaining as the international leadership team. Of course it all made sense to get things done, to achieve you need to be geographically close and able to make many more meetings. Being in Ibiza that didn't work for me, however with my own desire to be included in things I felt excluded, some how left out of an inner ring. This wasn't actually true, it was just a feeling that I had. It challenged my identity and where I get it from.
Am I about who I know? Am I about what team I am on? Am I defined by some sort of positional status? To be honest with you I would have to say yes for many years this has been a background tape that has driven me in many situations.
I am relational but I am also positional.
I enjoy hanging out but am also aware of political affiliations.
Anyway it's an inner battle one I am winning, but also one that I see in so many other people.
If I am honest there are a lot out there who aren't particularly self aware of their own desire to belong, their own desire to be affiliated, to be recognized, to be seen with the right people.
I felt a year up on the farm and my removal from the international leadership team was a key moment in my life. It started to teach me about hiddenness versus profile. Taught me once more about not finding my security in position but finding it in God, something we often say but I wonder if we truly scratched the surface whether we are all as sorted in this department as we think?
At my core I am relational but the shadow side of that core is that I can be overly aware of specific relational connections at the detriment of others.
Hope that make sense.
Some once said to me "Self awareness is the key to growth" I think that is so true.