I have been a
leader for as long as I can remember. I was president of many
organizations in high school including being the student government
president during my senior year (1956-57) and president of several
organizations at the state level. I have been honored to serve in many
leadership positions throughout my life. Sometimes I did not seek the
positions, but they seemed to seek me. In recent years I realized that
these opportunities to serve came my way because I was available.
Leaders must be available to serve.
Leader, Abraham, demonstrated his availability to serve. At seventy-five
years of age Abraham was a man with great possessions and a comfortable
lifestyle; yet when the Lord called him to leave his country and his
relatives, Abraham responded and the Lord promised not only to make his
name and his descendants great, He promised to bless all nations of the
earth through Abraham (Genesis 12:1—3). History would have been much
different if Abraham had refused to go—if he had not been available.
Moses was another
leader who was available, even at the age of eighty. In September 2010 I
wrote the first of five successive columns on Moses as a leader.
Although initially reluctant to lead, Moses agreed and made himself
available to serve (Exodus 4:18). The next 40 years were a challenge to
this great leader as he led a murmuring, grumbling, complaining people
in their quest for the Promised Land.
Caleb was not only
available, but eager to lead. He lived during the entire forty-year trek
through the wilderness into the Promised Land. And he declared that
although he was eighty-five years old, he was as ready and able to go to
battle as when he was 45 years younger. (Joshua 14:10-12) What an
example to the rest of us when we attempt to find excuses not to serve.
I am now
seventy-three years old. These men—Abraham, Moses, and Caleb (all older
than I) are role models for all of us. Leaders simply must make
themselves available to serve. And we should be available as long as the
Lord gives us breath.