Opportunity to Lead Awaits
by Jennifer Pearce
Communications Coordinator, Christ’s Church
It was Monday of the first full week of summer break. I rolled over to look at the clock. 7:28. My alarm would sound momentarily. As I turned over to enjoy those last 120 seconds of sleep, it thundered outside. Yes! I thought. No high school cross-country practice carpool for me this morning. I smiled as I turned off my alarm and readjusted my pillow. I love summer.
Just then I heard his footsteps on the stairs. “It’s raining outside,” I declared to my teenager loudly from my bed.
“I know,” he said, as he made his way to the kitchen. “I’ll wear my old shoes.”
What? That’s ridiculous. Surely, they won’t still have practice, right? What kind of coach would have these kids show up in conditions like this?!
He had heard my thoughts. “We’ll be fine, Mom.”
Leaders show up when it rains.
Annoyed, I threw back the covers and sat up. Really?! I thought. With one eye open, I marched towards the kitchen. As I turned the corner, I tripped over the before-mentioned teenager’s backpack. Last night he had piled up all he needed for the day: water bottle, shoes, inhaler, gear and snacks for work later. I caught myself before I fell completely over, but after managing to stub my big toe.
Leaders show up prepared.
I limped towards the coffee pot, bearing down on my tongue so nothing foul would emerge.
“Can we leave a few minutes early?” he asked.
I glared at him. “Why?” I barked. “It will just be longer that you’ll have to stand out in the rain waiting for practice to begin!”
He looked down at my toe. “Why are you walking like that?” he asked. “Anyway, I don’t know. I’d just like to be there a little early. Is that a problem, Mom?”
Leaders show up early.
I made a decision in that moment that I should not engage in any more of this chatter before I had properly caffeinated—or there would be casualties. I stood next to my Keurig, rubbing my big toe, as the device sputtered and strained, finally delivering my much-needed coffee.
“Oh, and X needs a ride.” Of course he does. I glanced at the clock on the microwave. I barely had enough time to brush my teeth, much less put on clothing suitable for this voyage to the high school track.
“His mom can’t bring him this morning. If he can’t ride with us, he can’t go.”
Leaders make room for others.
Lucky him, I thought to myself, as I took my mug and limped back to my bedroom to find shoes, this time stepping over the backpack and avoiding additional injury.
Once I was home from the trek and had ingested a second cup of coffee, I was actually proud of my son and the choices he had made. I want to be that kind of person. I want to be the person others can count on. I want to be the person who still shows up when conditions are less than ideal. I want to be the person who shows up ready to take on the challenge. I want to be the person who always finds a way to make room for one more and arrives on time when I am needed.
Just Say Yes
Providentially, my Bible reading later that day was about Deborah in the book of Judges. A neighboring king was giving the Israelites trouble, and she was tired of it. Deborah came up with a strategy and found a team to take care of business. She didn’t have royal lineage or military background that would have made her the “right fit for the job.” She was a housewife who had been settling disputes between neighbors around town and then said “yes” when God asked her to step up and handle a bigger conflict—one that affected her entire nation. We will talk more about this story in our teaching this Sunday.
Kind of typical for God, really. He seems to pick the most unlikely of heroes: the prostitute Rahab, the orphan Esther, the murderer Moses, the carpenter Jesus.
When you accept Christ, you are woven into God’s beautifully-crafted storyline, and no one has a bit part. He has given you a specific sphere of influence that he wants you to impact for him right now. It may be a cubicle in a huge office complex, it may be in the driver’s seat of a school bus, or it may be next to a high chair in your own kitchen. Leading isn’t something God has waiting for you when you finally get that promotion, lose those last thirty pounds, make the team, build that nest egg, have that child, or finish that course.
It’s now. Look around. Get to work. Opportunity awaits.