This friend is also a candidate for ministry – just about finished with seminary studies and this semester doing Clinical Pastoral Education in a hospital setting in Boston. What came to my mind immediately was how utterly authentic her hospital visits would be given that she too, is a patient; that she too has fears; that she too is not as in control as she would wish.
And in that moment it occurred to me that we live in a world too often devoid of authenticity. Instead, these days we are bombarded with so called “reality” shows. I have never been a fan of soap operas (the early release of reality TV), and have not engaged any of the reality shows more recently introduced. That is not to say I do not engage in the same lack-luster reality of TV: on the often over-blown news for sure, but also in programs I like such as NCIS – I have not contacted the armed services about this but I imagine the program is not their reality.
Authenticity– that which is based on fact – seems a better way to be. An authentic self is one that comes face to face with both its joys and sorrows, its accomplishments and its pit-falls...its heart. Today Margaret Benefiel posted a graphic that speaks to the value of authenticity in leaders. It is posted here. Setting aside the clamors of the “stuff” in our lives (and on our televisions) to make space and take time to pay attention to the stirrings of the heart makes for authenticity – for that which is genuine. And that will take us far.