There’s a familiar biblical account in the Book of Exodus that provides the reader and follower of Christendom of what happens when one does not learn life lessons. This particular account heightens after the Israelites were set free from their bondage in Egypt. By way of the Lord’s instruction, Moses tells the Israelites to turn back and set up camp. The view from the field was less than desirable, the Red Sea was in front of them, and Pharaoh’s army was closing in behind them (Ex. 14:1-4). We can almost conclude the attitude of the Israelites and the pressure Moses must have felt. When Moses first took the expedition assignment, he advised his employer (God) of a couple shortcomings; a) he couldn’t go back to Egypt because he killed an officer and could face imprisonment and b) he lacked the competence of how to speak with and to Pharaoh. Like really God, you want me to walk up to him and say, “Let my people go… Seriously!” But in this instance, Moses is attuned to God and is obedient, but the result of his leadership leads the people into a ‘trapped’ situation. The Israelites were camping and no less becoming overwhelmed due to fatigue, hunger and just the simple fact they were going around in circles (know when we do not embrace life lessons, we’ll end up going around in circles) as they realized Moses had led them in a place with no apparent way out! The Red Sea was on one side, and Pharaoh’s army was closing in on the other.
Leadership can be a very lonely place, and in many cases, your actions can be questionable to those you have been called to serve. All leaders should be accountable to someone, whether it is the person of the Holy Spirit, your wife, husband, mother or father. Therefore preparation, authoritative confidence, and trust are at least three common denominators, you must aim to master. When life’s lessons are discounted, we can become like the Israelites of biblical time lacking aptitude. This would be the determining factor for their altitude throughout scripture. In many given scenarios they fell back into ‘bondage’ when God ordained them to be a free people.
I recall the first time I was promoted (really thrown in…trying to sound politically correct) into a leadership position, I was 15years old. The Pastor of the church had asked me to lead the choir and musicians during Sunday worship experience. When he asked I found every excuse and one in particular, how was I to lead my mother, her brother and his wife who sang in the choir…like really! That was a trap, even if I say so myself! In front of me was the disregard from my uncle and aunt on how to sing their parts, (Red Sea) and the unspoken wrath from my mother for me telling her what to do (the closing in of Pharaoh’s army). I learned very quickly (I became an exceptional choir director that spanned well over 35years) the importance of 3 factors. 1) Preparation is critical: you must prepare yourself for the particular task, 2) Stand in authoritative confidence: in the midst of the questions and the rebuttals…stand strong and 3) trust yourself, first then those you serve will learn to trust you and your leadership style.
If we can remain connected to our leader, the past records of life experiences should provide the guideposts for exemplary leadership. There are several examples captured in the Word of God that can assist any person (who genuinely desires) guidance on the position towards aptitude of life’s lessons and the altitude of exceptional leadership.
I leave you with this thought, realize that you are the composer with the pen; begin transcribing your destiny and be forever mindful that your aptitude and altitude will be the catalyst for your success as an impact agent leader!