Monday, August 6, 2007

The graveyard

I went to a graveyard today, which is something I do in a regular fashion.

Johnathan Edwards [a once famous pastor] used to take a horseback ride through the cemetery once a day with his wife for a time of reflection. [sounds kinda goth, huh?]. There they would both ask themselves "what must I do today, if it were my last day on earth?"

That's what I do as well.

There is precious little time allotted for each of us.

In Nehemiah this week he is diverted from his path by distractions which are far more subtle than the previous frontal assaults. He is manipulated, and tricked, and has to think fast to stay on target.

This is what leadership is. And these are some of the lessons we will learn this week

  1. Fear is something people and Satan will always try to use to get you off target from your mission. As a leader you will have to be emotionally grounded in God and not in people or circumstances.
  2. You will have to say no to some things in order to say yes to more important things. Not every dialogue is worth having, not every opportunity is worth pursuing, and the good is often what stops us from doing the great.
  3. Be careful who you trust too quickly. Nehemiah meets a prophet who looks wise and godly, but it quickly becomes apparent to him that they have been bought off by his enemies to trick him into sin and wrecking his reputation.
  4. Satan has at least 4 major weapons to be aware of: 1 The core seductions of sin that bring moral failure and thus an abdication of leadership character. 2 the frontal assaults of enemies who don't like you or what you are doing. 3 busyness with nonsense that exhausts you and leaves you no energy for the highest priorities of the mission of your life. 4 sneaky and subtle manipulations to get you just slightly off target, which over time will have you way off target.

The graveyard is a reminder of the urgency of now and the legacy of choices. To cherish the opportunities to serve our God, our church, and our community with love and grace. And to think about the big picture of the whole of our lives and the biography we are writing with every breath we breathe. It is sobering and focusing to walk in the graveyard, and to be reminded that we too will pass on.

What we pass on then, is the question


Anonymous said...

I remember fascinating walks through an ancient graveyard when I was very young. Not just "what would I do," but "what have these who lie here done?" Have they lived their lives in such a way that left a legacy for people to follow that will bring greatness to the world and glorify God? Can I follow an example they've set or should I learn from their mistakes. History and the future collide in the cemetary, the dead touch the living, the living face what is dead and life continues, hopefully better for the reflection of what has been learned from the past, and how it affects the present to be transformed for the future. --B.A.M.


blogger templates | Make Money Online