ROAD RULES by the Rev. Anthony Payton
Albert Pike is quoted as saying, “He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world, is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river lashed into angry waves by the winds. Often they roar over his head, often they beat him back and baffle him.” The Apostle Paul puts it this way: “We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12 The Voice)
Leadership is a fight. Those of us that find ourselves thrust into leadership are often struggling against a rapid current. We are cracked and chipped by a myriad of afflictions. Leadership is no walk in the park. It is often more like a cat on a hot tin roof. Nevertheless, we are called to make a difference in this world. In the words of that old African American song, we “have a charge to keep and a God to glorify.”
I recently listened to Daniel Day Lewis being interviewed on 60 minutes. He talked about how difficult it was for him to come out of the character Abraham Lincoln and how he missed that character. It is both convicting and challenging to think; as leaders we can lead, and inspire people in such a way, that if God would allow anyone to portray us in the future—long after He has taken us home, they too would miss us. That’s a powerful thought!
It is a sad reality, that not much of that which passes for leadership today has a “shelf-life.” Leadership today is more about the moment then the next millennium… more about me than the many. As believers and leaders we are to impact time for eternity. Visionary leadership helps us to embrace today with the perspective of tomorrow. We do this despite the difficulties.
So, how do we accomplish this? Never lose sight of the significance of your role in the divine charge. Abraham Joshua Herschel is one of my historical heroes. He stated, “Man is a messenger who forgot the message.” As leaders, we must not forget the message of hope, help and healing that we are destined to bring to this world. There is value in the role you play in God’s divine plan. He knows the plans He has for you. You are here to impact time for eternity. Please remember, there is always a “Rising From The Dust” for all of us.
Therefore, “Rumba Young Man (woman) Rumba.”
This article originally appeared in the July 24 print edition.