In our rush to see results, we can find ourselves outpacing God. Conversely, when the time is right for action, we might lag behind. Through the trusting relationships Jesus built with His disciples, He was able to shape them, correct them, or urge them on as needed. He does the same for us today. As leaders following Jesus, we need to keep pace both with Him and with those in our leadership spheres. Where might you be running ahead of or lagging behind Jesus and others?
Articles | Trust
It can be easy to forget, especially if we hold formal leadership positions, that being a leader is not our identity or calling. We are first children of God, called to follow Jesus. Only as we live into our identity and calling in Jesus will we be able to lead like Him. We must never mistake ourselves as the leader of our own lives; Jesus is the leader who lives within us, the One whom we follow. Let Him lead you into your day.
“I need to ask you something, Mrs. V.” Tears threatened to brim over as his eyes searched mine.
“My goodness! What’s wrong, Felix?” This was a young man I had had in eighth grade two years before and who was now one of my high school students. We had always had a good relationship, even a kindred spirit.
“A kid in your second period class is telling people you call us Mexicans ‘Beaners.’ Is it true?”
“Dear Lord, I know You can heal him if it be Your will…”
“Oh Father, would You reveal Yourself to her?”
“If it’s possible, God, will You…?”
Have you prayed prayers like these as I have? Wanting to see miracles happen, but not wanting to be disappointed? I often feel that my prayers become a spin cycle of repetition. I have less and less faith the longer I pray for something or someone until I simply cease to pray about it at all.
In March 2010, doctors at Sydney Hospital in Australia, fought to save the life of Jamie Ogg. Jamie and his sister were born too early. After 20 minutes, Jamie was pronounced dead. Doctors passed him to his parents, Kate and David, so they could say good bye. Kate placed him on her bare chest. The parents caressed and talked to their son; and within a few minutes something unexpected happened, some call it a miracle, Jamie came to life (New Zealand Herald, March 2012).
“I’ll bet you a dollar he strikes out!”
“I’ll take that bet!”
The batter struck out, and the dollar bill passed down the line of young baseball fans.
“I’ll bet you a dollar that he makes it to first base!”
“I’ll take that bet!”
The batter got a walk, and the same dollar bill passed back to the original owner.
The results are in, and everyone agrees: No one likes to be micromanaged. Empowerment is good; micromanagement is bad. Case closed…let’s all move on.
But wait… Who’s that over in the corner clearing his throat, challenging this universally accepted notion? Why, it’s the ever-outspoken Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric! And, of course, he sees things differently. Go figure.
“Get the ball!” he shouted at the top of his lungs from the bleachers. “You’ve got to want it. REALLY want it!”
Frankly, I was pretty frustrated with this father, who had been shouting this same same mantra to his daughter throughout the entire event. And now as a tangle of seventh grade girls struggled to get the basketball from one another at the end of a very close game, the intensity of his “encouragement” elevated to a whole new level.
“Mommy! Help me with this worm. Please, Mommy!”
“Just a minute. Mommy needs to row out a little farther and let down the anchor again.”
I had taken my three little ones out fishing one bright, sunny afternoon. The rock pile that was always a good hideout for bass and perch was just a hundred yards or so offshore… an easy row and shallow enough for the anchor rope.