Cultivating a Teachable Spirit

OilThe first month I was at Southview, I remember meeting with the adult teachers for the first time.  I shared with them one of the foundations of my philosophy of ministry – a teachable spirit is non-negotiable.  Skills can be learned, and knowledge can be gained, but without a teachable spirit, you will have a very difficult time in ministry.  I went so far as to say that it was a non-negotiable to serve in leadership at Southview, and I still believe it’s THAT important.  The Elders and I try very hard to live that value out as we lead – but sometimes, I forget…

Perhaps a year ago, maybe a little more, my wife Charlotte wanted me to try some essential oils that she had heard about.  Someone had told her about them, and she thought a more natural solution might be worth a shot.  I pooh-poohed it, saying I was not at all interested in such, and that I had no desire to turn into a triangle hat wearing sort.  (See this video clip from Seinfeld if you missed the reference).

Fast forward to April of this year.  My allergies were worse than I’ve ever experienced, and to top that off I was having trouble sleeping.  Not a great combination! My normal allergy medicine wasn’t working at all, and I was wondering what to try. One of the Elders mentioned that his wife had some oils that she’d had great success with, and suggested I give it a shot.  I was sleep deprived and feeling pretty miserable, so I was willing to try anything, so I did. She brought me some samples to try, and I rubbed several different oils on my feet every night before bed, thinking “no way this is going to work.” Lo and behold, after just a couple of days, my allergies were gone and I was sleeping like a baby.  I know – weird, right? I’ve continued the regimen, and I’ve had NO allergy trouble at all since I started. It’s hard to believe, but true!

Why do I share this story?  Well, there are several lessons I’ve learned over the last few months:

1) A teachable spirit is important, and not just at the office. Being humble and teachable should be something I strive for in every area of my life, not just in certain areas.  Leaders, you set the pace on this.  If you model a teachable spirit, it’s FAR more likely that those you lead will too.

2) Listen to my wife. Had I listened to my wife and given this a shot a year or more ago, I might have avoided months of allergy trouble and the cost of all that allergy medicine. My wife is brilliant, and I forget that at my peril.

3) Sometimes solutions can be found in unexpected places. I would never have thought those essential oils were effective – yet I am walking proof, despite my cynicism and disbelief at the beginning. Humility is being willing to listen.

Do you have experiences where you forgot how important a humble, teachable spirit is?  Share in the comments below!

(and if you are interested in trying these oils, let me know and I’ll connect you with my friend Nancy!)