There are different ways to get to a vacation destination. First, you could fly there. This as an option is certainly the fastest, and sometimes the easiest way depending on where you are going. You are in one place and you sit down in a chair in a giant metal tube and in a few minutes or hours you have been transported there with no effort of your own. Then there is also the infamous road trip way to get places. On the road trip, the journey to where you are going becomes as much a part of the adventure as the final destination.
Our lives are more like the ‘road trip’ version of a trip. If we want to get somewhere we need to take the journey. However, we often want to take shortcuts for everything and just get there. When you think of where you want to be spiritually, or even in leading in your church, you can miss out on your journey as well. You can want the end product but be doing everything you can to be transported there, without the journey.
It is true that David, when he was a young man, fought and defeated Goliath. However before that he was getting ready and being prepared for that moment. Scripture records he took care of and protected his family’s sheep. It was there that he had to learn how to fight. He fought off a bear and a lion. He likely just thought he was protecting sheep, but God was getting Him ready for even greater things.
Or you can look at the life of Joseph, who had the coat of many colors. In his youth he had all these God given dreams of greatness. They were from God. They were true. However Joseph was not wise. He was the youngest brother in a big family and he was a little spoiled. He made a point to tell his brothers and even his father that someday they would all be bowing down to him. Not only was this not wise, it was just stupid.
The brothers were so tired of him they threw him in a pit, then sold him into slavery, and told their father he had died. Joseph, ended up going through many trials, including prison. But on his journey he learned lessons of character, of patience, and perseverance.
Many years later, Joseph, was used to save a nation. He did not give up. He continued to do the right things and God put him in a place to even save his family from famine. However, if Joseph never went through his own ‘road trip’ he would never have been in a place to save everyone. So don’t hate the journey it is part of the adventure.
There is a spiritual principle at work here. In Luke 16:10, we read, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” If you feel God is calling you to a place of leadership in your church, or anywhere, start being faithful in everything, even in the small things.
I believe one reason the older generation has a hard time letting go of all the leadership is because they fear if they give it away things will fall a part. That may be an irrational fear, but it is a real fear for them. Prove them wrong. Show up. Be faithful in all things.
In Luke 22, we read about a conversation that Jesus had with the disciples during the last supper. ‘Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.’ (24 – 27)
Leading also involves serving. Well leading like Jesus does anyway. If you want to lead, start serving. When we persevere, when we serve, our character is being formed. When we let ourselves be formed through the journey, then God puts us in the places we have dreamed about.
Find a place to serve. Stay there.