A few months ago I watched Bob Schieffer’s interview on “Face of the Nation” with former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Albright summed up the world’s current condition by saying “the world is a mess.” Madam Secretary is right. Her interview focused on the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and the Gaza and Israel conflict, terrorism, the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa and it’s scanty evidence in America. With such brokenness and sadness events, where does change even begin, one might ask? I am here reminded of the preface of the Friedman’s book, A Failure Of Nerve: Leadership In The Age Of The Quick Fix; where the author launches out with provocative story lines like, “playfulness can get you out of a rut more successfully than seriousness”. Humor is one way to playfully navigate through some of the painful moments of life. However, when stress persists and the push and pull strikes, how playful can a leader be? Isn’t it time to “do something about the situation in order to fix what’s broken or bring the cause of trouble to an end?”
I have repeatedly met groups of people who have felt need to do something about ending poverty in certain locations in Uganda and the Africa continent. Some are doing a reasonable job at addressing issues of poverty and others have frankly mentioned the fact that they do not know what to do. It is known that most people have the desire to help from a place of good intentions. In fact the act of helping can be a good thing. Scripture notes, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”  Now in the case of the people who find themselves between the tensions of the desire to help but might be struggle with insight on whether what they are doing is helpful, there is need to acquire wisdom about the issues. Is it a perceived need? Is there more to “felt need”? Whose felt need?
People’s positive intentions are valid but even then intentions in and of themselves are not enough. Friedman suggest the need to be clear about one’s own personal values and goals and the need take maximum responsibility for one’s own emotional being and destiny rather than blaming others or the context. The capacity to take a stand in an intense emotional system is absolutely necessary and the need of maintaining a non-anxious presence in the face of anxious others is paramount. Friedman’s book provides wisdom which seeks to address the reactive nature of American civilization. His book shades light on the anxiety that represents it’s self in the “just tell me what I should do” attitude or put in other words, “God is not using me”.
It is beneficial to embrace an attitude of adventure, which allows for patience, discomfort, hope, faith, love, the spirit of research and exploration.
 1 John 3:17
 Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure Of Nerve: Leadership In The Age Of The Quick Fix (New York, NY: Church Publishing, 2007) 183