We all desire purpose. Purpose drives passion. My passion is enriching lives of the food insecure and our employees. I believe courageous leaders remain grounded in purpose, even if it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient. This is something I battle every day.
Last week, as part of a routine practice of self-denial, I fasted for 18 hours. I usually keep this private, as self-denial is a personal journey in creating a greater dependency on faith. This time, though, I looked through an additional lens – the eyes of the hungry. Through this lens and after hearing my wife’s emotional story last week about a mother and daughter in the food pantry, my fasting had a renewed purpose.
Though the focus was on the hungry, by the end I was unable to focus on anything but food. When will I eat? I was jittery, fatigued and clouded by a headache and blurred vision. When will I eat? As my hunger pains intensified, I had a strong desire for unhealthy foods. When will I eat? A typically active person, I wanted nothing more than rest, but I needed activity to survive the slow passage of time. When will I eat?
Not knowing when your next meal will come is unimaginable, unbearable. It’s wrong that food insecure kids must suffer such physical, mental and emotional distress daily.
When the clock reached 18 hours, I could eat, and I had options. I could open a stocked refrigerator and choose from a variety of food items, or drive to a restaurant and order anything from the menu, both luxuries unattainable to those lacking food security.
Putting the cause or faith first brings humility that helps guide our leadership walk. Though I experienced only a glimpse of the daily struggle with hunger, I have a renewed focus that we must, and we can, ensure affordable, available food for all.
YOUR CHALLENGE: How do you make yourself smaller and your cause bigger? Experience something uncomfortable to maintain purpose and drive passion.