Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hand over the machete

The winds have changed and suddenly, I am not longer the leader.

I never wanted to be the leader. Not really. I just kept turning around and all these lost-looking people were behind me. Maybe it was my gift of helps that made me decide to be what they needed. Sheep without a shepherd.

Being a leader was like having a bunch of people following you in the jungle. You are the one in front, with the machete, cutting through the undergrowth. There are no maps, only branches smacking you in the face and you slice into the brush, praying that you are leading these others in the right direction.

I was the spiritual leader in my home, a leader in women's ministries and often I would find myself as the senior person in the church building with the others looking at me for direction--as if I had any. I often thought I ended up in that position because everyone else had taken a step back.

Now, I find myself trailing more to the back of the crowd. I am ready to hand over my machete. My husband now ready to take over the spiritual headship of our home, the others in church moving up to the front of the line, or maybe it's just me being tired and older and moving towards the back.

Following Al reminds me of our younger days when we would ride his motor cycle. I would ride with him in front, me behind, arms around his waist, leaning my head on his back, watching the scenery pass, safe from the wind. All I had to do was the lean in the direction he leaned, and not pull in the opposite direction. No matter where we went or how fast the scenery passed me, I always felt safe, because I trusted Al.

That's what I want to do now, Lord. Lean in towards the way You are leaning. I want to be protected from the wind. I want to hand over my machete. I want to trust You.

I never asked to be the leader, Father. You thrust it upon me and now You have taken it away. It's all ok with me.

Maybe this time of following is a preparation for a later time of leadership for me. Maybe the time of leadership I experienced was preparation for this time of following. Whatever way it will become, I trust You, Lord to have great and wonderful plans.

Have Your way with us.

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