The Well-Balanced World Changer

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Posted by Shayne Moore.

Today we are pleased to feature author and friend of Redbud, Sarah Cunningham. Sarah has a new book out and although she has written five books, she is the first to admit her leadership journey has been messy at times.

“I might’ve had strong skill sets in certain areas,” Sarah explains, “But I often went too fast or took on too many things or grew too ambitious before I had the emotional capacity to manage it all. I would outpace myself. On my bad days, especially in my early twenties, I was…and still can be…my own worst enemy.”

Along the way, though, Sarah would occasionally stumble on some small piece of life-changing advice–maybe stories or tips or just a conversation with a friend–that helped her frame her leadership journey differently. Eventually, she developed some healthier practices that she claims changed her leadership rhythms for the better. As a result, she decided to stockpile mental and emotional wisdom.

Her newest book captures that collected wisdom. The Well Balanced World Changer: A Field Guide for Staying Sane While Doing Good, is a collection of dozens of 2-5 page essays that are brimming with similar wisdom, illustrations and what she calls “sticky stories” that provided a breath of fresh air along the way as she pursued her life and ministry ambitions.

She’s hoping it gets more people sharing their own wisdom using the hashtag #worldchangerbook.

Below is an interview with Sarah:

Q: My readers are often people who are active in their local communities and their world…or who at least want to be. What story from this book would connect best with them?

A: Well, there’s a few. Probably more than a few actually. But there’s a great metaphor about being a lighthouse, that gives off life but doesn’t uproot itself to go into murky waters (because then it would defeat its purpose of orienting others to the shoreline) that is really good for people who are advocates or humanitarians of sort.

Q: So stay planted and give off light?

A: Yeah. And as people circle around, they will know where to find you if they need more of the hope or light that you offer. When they come to a place where they are ready to spend time in the light, you’ll have the energy to help them because you won’t have depleted yourself chasing them through the mud.

Q: What do you think is one of the greatest mistakes that people make in pursuing their causes or dreams?

A: Probably the biggest mistake is NOT pursuing their cause or dream at all…or sitting on the idea for years, even decades. It’s easy for all of us to get lost in the illusion that “someday” when our life circumstances perfectly align, we will have the exact opportunity we need and success will just roll itself out like a red carpet. Or it’s easy to imagine if we lived somewhere else, somewhere more romantic or adventurous–a foreign country, an AIDS orphanage, etc.–that we’d really be positioned to do good. But those illusions of “someday” and “somewhere” can prevent us from doing the good we can do today, right where we are.

Imagine what would happen if we all really believed that God made us as much for this moment as he did for that “someday” moment.

Q: What is one of the passages of Scriptures that offers the most hope to you as a world changer?

A: There are a few. But one is just an uncommon take on a really common passage, the Shepherd’s Psalm. I talk about it in the book how we often want to remember the parts of Psalm 23 that feel good emotionally–how Jesus walks beside us in green pasture or how God anoints our head with oil and our cups run over. But really, what is maybe even more important to remember about those verses is WHERE YOU ARE when those things are happening. Jesus is walking beside you IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH. Your head is anointed and your cup is running over IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR ENEMIES. This popular passage doesn’t create a picture of a perfect life, it creates the idea of peace and health in the midst of trouble.

Headshot_SarahCunningham[1]Sarah’s book is available on Amazon (http://amzn.com/B00C2ZT8M2 ), Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/1dzPuoZ ), and wherever books are sold. You can also find great shareable content like the graphic below at her book’s Pinterest page:http://www.pinterest.com/sarahcunning/the-well-balanced-world-changer/.

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One Response to The Well-Balanced World Changer

  1. Susy Flory says:

    Love this and just ordered a copy. I can’t wait to read it. Love the metaphor of the lighthouse wading out into the mud.

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