Four skills needed to lead from the future are

1) SIMPLIFY: the drive to simplify
2) MAKE: the instinct to make
3) THRIVE: the hunger to make the world thrive
4) SYSTEMS: the imagination to connect seemingly unrelated dots

Today, I want to draw again on MAKERS OF FIRE: the spirituality of leading from the future for a third skill:

The hunger to make all things thrive

GENESIS CHAPTER ONE: The Poem of Thriving
One way to describe the Creative persona of Genesis chapter 1 is – The One who makes all things thrive.

Everything he touches flourishes.

He is so full of life giving energy that even the things he creates create.

“Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” (Genesis 1.11)

And so the land itself began producing vegetation. The same goes for the fish of the sea and the birds of the air. The process of life begetting life is the result of being touched by a creative force so potent that life kept emerging from within the chaos.

“In the view of the genesis poem, our world of living things regenerates itself as an act of God. They are at once and the same time, the same thing. The discoverable mechanics of the natural world, the evolution of life, are all fingerprints of God at work in our world.” -from Makers of Fire

Towards the end of Genesis chapter 1, God creates a creature in his own image.

“And we, along with the other creatures, continued the creative work. And the biosphere continued to blossom, to open like a flower revealing layer after layer of beauty. According to Genesis chapter 1, God is at work when life thrives. Thriving must be the metric by which human rulership can be measured. Every creative act made by any creature that makes the world thrive is at one and the same time an act of God.” -from Makers of Fire

The third skill required to lead from the future is the hunger to make things thrive. This requires the development of new a discipline: self control. Our rapacious hunger, magnified by our technologies, have demonstrated our capacity to wreak havoc on the world around us and even on each other.

In the last 100 hundred years, we have all but eradicated wild Atlantic Salmon. The passenger pigeon went from being the most abundant bird in North America to extinction in 50 years. From billions to zero. When the first Europeans arrived, the pigeon was here, along with the America bison and the peoples of the First Nations, the Beringians, who had resided here at least 18,000 years since their crossing over the Bering Straight during the most recent ice age.

When the technologically advanced cultures entered the North American space, the wild things, valuable things, began to disappear. And, as our technology evolves at an even faster rate than our culture and our wisdom, we must learn from our past and step into the future wary of our own powers and of how our current choices may impact future generations.

How can we best make our biosphere thrive? How can we best make our society, our neighborhoods, our neighbors, our family and friends thrive? How do we become a species known for how it makes all things thrive?

Making all things thrive is a calling which can have many expressions. These expressions can become the fountainhead around which healthy communities can form. Imagine communities committed to making a world that works for everyone. Imagine that these communities start by making a world that works for their neighbors. This might mean an end to mindless consumption at the expense of others. It might mean we’ll need to simplify. It will mean that we’ll need to understand that everything is connected. Which leads to us the fourth skill we’ll need to lead from the future.

Alex McManus

Author, Makers of Fire: the spirituality of leading from the future

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