Today i was driving north on Route 23 between Circleville and Chillicothe Ohio. As I was driving up the road something off to the right caught my eye. Now, this is farm country so there really isn’t a whole lot between Chillicothe and Circleville. I looked over and I saw a pasture containing a small herd of cattle maybe between 15-20 of them total. Off to the left of this group of cattle I noticed something that kind of blew my mind at first. The two cows walking up from the creek were following a well trodden path that had been covered in snow all night since some parts of Ross and Pickaway county got 6 or more inches of snow.
This wasn’t especially impressive except that there were no other hoof prints anywhere else in the snow. That’s when this thought popped into my head. All of those cows had been walking the same path without straying. Every cow there had taken the same path to and from the creek and not one of them had split off until they got to the hay rack, or bin or whatever its technical name is. This was pretty impressive to me. But like God does to me he leads me from one thought to the next.
After watching these cows for a few seconds and being pretty impressed with what I just saw I then had this thought. Sometime during the night one cow cut that path through the snow. And everyone followed the lead of one cow. This was even more impressive to me. I pictured the alpha heifer or however you want to say it (I’m pretty sure that these were all females) having the courage to forge ahead in blinding snow and every cow in the herd following her lead.
It was then that I had this thought….which kind of made me wryly grin. What if she led them to some place dangerous? That’s when God lowered the boom on me and I realized that he had been speaking to me the whole time. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility that falls onto the back of a leader. The herd will follow the leader in lock step if they trust him. They also depend on the leader for their safety and security. Otherwise the cattle would have been wandering spread out during the snow storm. But because there is a security as a group they choose to follow their leader.
There is a tremendous responsibility for God’s leaders to make decisions shrewdly and not shoot from the hip because the course they choose for their lives directly impacts the paths of others. It doesn’t sort of impact the path of others. It directly impacts the lives of those who have given you the title of leader. And a leader that flippantly chooses a path for their group isn’t a leader at all. If you want to be a leader you better flush the darkness out of your heart. You won’t be able to flush it all out until you leave this world but the problem is that a lot of leaders have never started flushing the darkness out or they quit at one point. This is just as bad because if you’re not going forward then you’re going backward. We meet a lot of resistance in this world. It’s almost like we’re walking up an escalator that’s heading the other direction. If you quit walking then you’re going backward. Period.
I’m not trying to be preachy because this message is as much for me as anyone else. It’s a message to say that you better care about the people who are following you. You better have their best interest at heart and not lie to God and yourself by saying your motives are pure when they aren’t. I’m calling out leaders. You better love your people and be very careful about the path you cut in the storm for their sake because I can tell you this…..God will hold you responsible and that’s a promise.
“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1