Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World


Written by: on October 27, 2020

This morning, the first thing that happened to me was that I woke up. I wake up every morning. One day, this won’t happen. One day there will not be anything to wake up to, perhaps. Until then, I’m happy to dream of a less destructive way of coming to life every morning than an alarm clock or the anxiety of a schedule or ‘to do’ list. And, it’s ok. I was up quick and looking forward to my first coffee at Tim Horton’s.

Some days, I would prefer to not move at the sound of ‘move’. One day there will not be an alarm to make me move. At this point, I become insecure with the consideration that ‘there are so many more important things to talk about than one’s waking up in the morning’. Does insecurity matter so much anymore?

Today, there is a day to wake up to, conversations to wake up to, issues and problems to wake up to, acceptance and rejection to wake up to. Lots to be attentive to and, how much more effective we can be if we can perhaps encounter it all as stuff and things and mere objects. What if we were to actually immerse ourselves? What good would that do and where would that lead? What if there was another option, something other than ‘knowing’ and ‘not knowing’? I’m curious about another option, an afterwards. The story of today and yesterday, as I am knowing these, causes a craving in me for the next step, something other than ‘this’.

Yes (as I affirm myself in the direction ‘all these words’ words have been leading), the concept of ‘waking up’ is applicable in this time. The idea of ‘being woke’ and ‘wokeness’ is always-ever alarming in this world (if you smell what the Rock is cooking?); listening/reading/watching the news has become no more than the noise of an alarm clock in the morning. It’s less a desensitization to the shouted repetitions and pain-filled words and mannerisms, as it has become more of a curious interest for something else and what that could be. Simply, I crave another option than what has been presented to my consciousness as options in this place. Despite our best intentions and, perhaps that of others, we present our minds and souls to such oppression. I chose to not attend a meeting on Monday evening knowing that my mind could end up confused and my heart could be broken, making my soul just a little more uncomfortable in this story.

Wakefulness is a good thing and is everywhere. I see it in faces at tables around me, gathering dust on these bookshelves, it’s on this WordPress BlogSite, in the tucked pant legs to his ‘too-big’ shoes as he walked the crosswalk, the coffee dispenser, someone just said the word ‘pension’ over there (!) and alarm bells start ringing in my already-overwhelmed brain ‘do I even have a pension’? Words. Feelings. Thoughts. Faces. Zoom. Hah, I love this world1; I believe that ‘with God all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26, NKJV) even, a next option.

In consideration of the only options on the table (for now, anyways), ‘knowing’ and ‘not knowing’, the currency of genuine transparency and real honesty can foster trust in leaders. Once trust is lost, more than learning is required to rekindle it. Life doesn’t forget its being broken; the mind might (depending) but, the body and soul will not. Renner and D’Souza, in their book on ‘the art of turning uncertainty into opportunity’2, describe the art of integrity in the ‘double bind’ that a politician, named Nicole, found herself in. She could have chosen to ‘pretend knowledge’in order to appease the expectations of her audience instead, she woke to honesty, accepting her limits and offered to give an answer to the issue that was presented once she had acquired the necessary learning. This story represents a wonderful scene of self-differentiation and points to a healthy, at-home in herself, leader.

‘So, what happens when we can no longer rely on what we know, when we are forced to come face to face with the unknown?’Whatever we do, let’s not hit the snooze button. Today is the beginning, it is always todayso be ‘woke’ in this moment because something new is about to happen. It may be less than what we expect and, that’s ok. Martin Luther King Jr, in his final message ‘Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution’ (shared only four days before his assassination), expounds with hearted invitation for his audience, for even such a time as this, ‘to help time and realise that the time is always ripe to do right.’I don’t know what else I can add to that?


Images taken from newswire.ca


  1. Discovery. “The World Is Just Awesome (Boom De Yada)”. April 28, 2008. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at_f98qOGY0.
  2. Renner, Diana and Steven D’Souza. Not Knowing: The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Opportunity.New York, New York: LID Publishing Limited, 2015, front cover.
  3. Ibid, 65.
  4. Ibid, 94.
  5. Shelley, Mary. Mary Shelley’s Short Stories: Volume 2. Miniature Masterpieces, 2014, front cover.
  6. Edelman, Marian Wright. “The Time is Always Right to Do Right.” HuffPost. April 2, 2017. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-time-is-always-right_b_9592976


About the Author

Chris Pollock

Dad of Molly Polly Pastor at the Mustard Seed Street Church Trail Runner

8 responses to “Today”

  1. Greg Reich says:

    I think this is one of your best blogs. Your idea of being “woke” of “waking up”, of being “wakeful” causes me to take a moment and ponder. Sometimes we get stuck in that place between slumber and awake. It beacons us to stay longer than we should. Today was one of those days where the warmth of the covers and the peacefulness of the morning made it hard to roust out of bed. There was no urgency, but years of habit and beckoning of a cup of coffee and a quiet devotional time drew me into the day. It wasn’t the need to know or the unknown that called me forth. Today it wasn’t the desire to know God that beckoned me to sit in my wingback chair in my office with a cup of coffee and my bible. It was a desire to be known, not a desire to see God as much as a desire to be seen by God. Do we spend to much time seeking to know, seeking to see that we miss out on being known and being seen? Does a person in need really care whether they know or not know? What if their greatest desire is just to be known and seen? Maybe the hope that we should cling to is that some day we will be truly known and all the concerns with not knowing will fade away.

  2. Darcy Hansen says:

    “Some days, I would prefer to not move at the sound of ‘move’.” This. So good. How do you, as a leader, not move at the sound of “move”? How do you settle into the space in-between knowing and not knowing, certain and uncertain, and be fully present in the moment, in the doing of the next right thing? I keep thinking there is a different way, too. Seems so much of our reading camps on this/that, or either/or, rather than both/and. How do we awaken to the paradox of both/and in our spaces and what pace of life might that require?

  3. Shawn Cramer says:

    Awakening is a powerful metaphor. However, I find it limiting due to its binary usage and current use as a line-drawing and exclusionary judgment on others. How have you seen wakefulness or woke used well and poorly?

    • Chris Pollock says:

      May, perhaps, a true ‘wokeness’ be still and inclusionary? Perhaps, the sense of exclusion is a false ‘shadow’ sense attributed to those who’ve ‘changed’ in ways (lifestyle, judgements, etc.) as opposed to the other way around?

      I think of Jesus, ultimately. His state and paradigm was slightly-off to the status quo of the time. Some may have felt pushed, even excluded by his stance? Evident in the ever-present challenge he posed to the ‘powers’ and ‘dominions’ of the time (religious and otherwise).

    • Chris Pollock says:

      To your last questions:

      Followers of Jesus. Both poorly and well. And, in general everybody, both poorly and well 🙂

      Thanks for the real.

      I suppose the best answer that I can offer is:

      ‘Bro, I just don’t even know.’

  4. John McLarty says:

    I’ve found the term “woke” to be full of judgment right now- a sort of condescending way to claim the more superior moral position. Your post is more of an invitation to “wakefulness”- an awakening of the Spirit to the abundant life God desires. Not just “woke” in the sense of awareness, but “awakened” to the presence of God and the possibilities of each new day.

    • Chris Pollock says:

      Whoopsies, lots to learn. Superiority-stuff is not a good thing.

      Meet with the impact of superiority-stuff everyday in people who’ve not been able to ‘compete’ (for whatever ‘intersectional’ reason) or, who’ve been socially/economically overpowered/weakened and condescended upon (whatever that could possibly mean).

      Thank you John for helping with the attitude of words, I can seen that there’s a sensitive politic to the tossed around idea of ‘wokeness’ in this time.

      Searching, yearning, praying for the way, the truth along with you. God knows the way! I like the last bit of your last sentence and agree with you.

    • Jer Swigart says:

      Love this, John. Chris does invite us toward wakefulness and a commitment to ongoing awakening as opposed to the arrogance of “wokeness” which, in my opinion, drives one to a posture of defensiveness rather than ongoing humble curiosity.

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