In a previous part, I wrote of the divine help that comes to the leader, and humility that makes that help feasible … adding that God prepares leaders with the necessary equipment, long before crisis pulls them into the important roles they must play. Another aspect critical to leadership is Vision. Indeed, it is the leader’s vision that ultimately divorces the many pretenders to leadership from the lonely icon. Vision alienates the leader from the pack and annoys contemporaries … the very same attribute that must be preserved to one day bring the leader to fulfill divine destiny. Vision is seeing what others do not see and apprehending a direction that often appears even at its best disconnected to status quo… the to-be of our todays. While vision pushes many seeking its realization to fail many times in the right thing … lack of it creates victories that are utterly meaningless.
Luk 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 9:52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
Indeed, vision should be communicated and shared … but it must first exist. The visionary is not admired because he is not seen to be solving today’s crisis, nor is he expending resources killing relevant critics … he equally respectfully discountenances indulgent fans, pertinent foes and mischievous mockers alike because he knows they are equally blind to what they will later see.
May God make us like Nehemiah … men who saw repaired walls even when there were only ruins … prophetic insights that sense mighty armies in a valley of dry bones. Listening to a visionary can be irritating to the ardent manager who must deliver a target … but the vision must first define the paths from which targets and indicators have true meaning.
The visionary who will not be distracted may be perceived as an arrogant “know all” and so must be disdained yet only because his face is set somewhere others have yet to grasp. Vision is unapologetic to no one … observed as cursed to isolation in nursing what others imagine to be an evil apparition. He or she may have limitations, always perceived, like Nehemiah, to be defending insidious plots … constantly suspected, tested, disowned and vociferously rejected, misunderstood and dismissed as a fool … but it is the visionary that has been gifted with the unique insight that draws down a salvation not even the angels amongst us can discern.
In William Manchester’s masterful account of Winston Churchill’s life he describes “ a man with limitations, especially his callousness towards others (including his supporters) and his recklessness, which could border on the foolhardy; but also a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless … a light in an approaching darkness..”
We have many who can tell us what we need to do, but only those who have a higher knowledge and can tell us where we ought to be – have right to lead albeit their possession of their many other flaws …
Back to Christ, our Lord and Savior. In the text He sends messengers ahead of Him to the Samaritans, who did not welcome Him or appreciate His tactless vigor to be in Jerusalem. The disciples, James and John observed the cold treatment and ask him …
Luk 9:54 … Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
The leader will have learnt how to move forward without injury, quietly escaping the confinement of conflict to “another village” …closer to his “Jerusalem”.
Pro_29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.