Maybe it’s just the weather- cool, wet, rainy. Maybe it’s the overloaded schedule. Walked into a meeting this morning just because it was on my calendar- I honestly had no idea of what the meeting was about till I arrived and asked the facilitator. Maybe holding it’s my age. Maybe it’s the fact I’ve served this church over 20 years. Maybe it’ the added responsibilities of the denominational jobs I’ve taken.
Whatever the cause, I feel as though I have been pulling a semi truck stuck in reverse for the past several months. There is little if any visible progress- just skid marks as the truck’s transmission fights me every millimeter of the way. I had a conversation with a like minded community leader yesterday. We are both tired. We are both worn out from the constant tension of trying to lead when others seem to be content with the past.
I have been reading the book of Joshua again recently. While no one verse has jumped out for me, what has become clearer is that being a leader requires a much longer range vision than normal. Certainly we can and should celebrate immediate successes but leadership in a community (whether a faith community or a secular organization) requires a vision that goes past the immediate context. That alone can cause weariness. Trying to hold to a vision of a preferred future while the demands of the present continue their relentless pursuit of our time is tiring.
So, the solution?
Keep holding to the vision of the preferred future (in Joshua’s case: completing the entering and possessing the land). Don’t let the relentless pursuit of the present take over your thinking. Leaders need time away from the demands of the present as much as a preschool mother needs a break from the incessant demands of her child.
Relentlessly pursue the vision. There will always be people who list excuses (see Joshua 18:1-3). Our task as leaders requires us to communicate the vision with passion- even at the cost of sounding harsh and uncaring.
Trust in God. Ultimately the book of Joshua is not about his success but about God’s success!