When I am recruiting for a role, I will often describe a good candidate as someone who “gets it.” I think, what I am really trying to say, is that I want someone who understands the mission, who has a sense of the whole, who can ying and yang in a fast-paced environment and not get frazzled or thrown off. I want someone who can keep focus and push ahead – a self-leader. I will never forget, early in my career, when one of my first hiring decisions didn’t work out (NB CLI team – I said early in my career). I was lamenting to a college friend about why I couldn’t find anyone who “gets it.” Her response was short and to the point, “Dan, do you give it?”
As an outside observer, occasionally I hear leaders in parishes or dioceses say that people in the pews or in their ministries “just don’t get it.” It bothers me. Yet, if I am honest, I find myself guilty of the same sin more often than I would care to admit. “Giving it” and “getting it” both require sharing it, which “requires conversion, and this is a challenge.” Am I open to what truly investing in someone might do to me? How it might challenge me? How it might force me to consider something I hadn’t before? What if it makes me question this amorphous “it” that I seem to prize above all else? Thankfully, God’s love and patience for my understanding is much greater than mine. He continues to give it, no matter how little I might get it.