“All true spiritual leadership,” writes John Piper in The Marks of a Spiritual Leader, “has its roots in desperation.” The spirit of the true Christian leader is not, “I’m up for the task,” but, “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:16).
-Excerpt from Desiring God Blog, John Piper
Great thought! Great quote! Great Challenge!
When was the last time you were desperate? I remember a time when we took our family to swim at the natural spring in my parent’s neighborhood. They had a dock about 25 yards out and all the kids were out there. One of the girls got cold and didn’t want to swim back. She wasn’t too big so I said she could ride on my shoulders as I swam back. The spring is 72 degrees year round and for some reason, she got splashed in the face on the way back. This caused her to panic and put a stranglehold on me that caused me to go under. I was trying to keep us both up and free her hands off my neck. I got desperate really quick. I was literally walking on the bottom of the spring and saw the wall of the dock underwater. Finally, I “leapt” underwater to the wall and got us both above the water and back to safety.
When is the last time I approached my leadership – spiritual or professional – with a desperate dependence on God? I do recognize my gifts and talents, but they are still limited. When I am facing problems and challenges, I have amazing resources of people, information and tools to give me the best answers possible. Did I ask God for his input? Do I recognize that God might want to go another way? Am I exemplifying a Christ like heart? Christ exemplified a desperate leadership. So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. (John 5:19)
Leadership causes us us stand alone many times…it just doesn’t mean we have to do it alone. I find great wisdom, strength and compassion in my relationship with God. What the world might look at as a crutch, I look at pillars embedded into my personal foundation. When facing situations and questions, I cannot imagine approaching it alone. If Jesus did not do it alone (God, disciples and followers), why should I feel like I have got to isolate myself.
It is a healthy desperation that says, “Lord, I need you now more than ever.”