Thursday, December 15, 2005

Leadership Test

Of course these things aren't accurate, but it's fun and interesting. The 45 questions described me as....

What Famous Leader Are You?
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Take the test. What kind of a leader are you?

Tending Sheep

In the late ‘70’s California Governor Jerry Brown, and his then girlfriend Linda Ronstandt, visited some tribal’s in northern Kenya. He observed the Samburu herders in the desert who, from sunup to sundown, just follow their grazing herds.

“Is that all they do everyday,” he asked in astonishment?

Well, yes, that’s all they do. Illiterate bushman have no book to read or cassette’s to listen to and their only activity is guarding their herds and leading them to grass and water.

This week I am tending sheep. That’s code for doing the mundane things of my work; preparing a paper I have been asked to submit to group of academic’s next month, putting in order messages for a conference in Korea in a couple of weeks, doing financial book work and reading. These projects are tedious for me. I was raised with a mindset that emphasized action and so if I’m not moving I’m not working. These days I don’t feel engaged, like I’m not doing anything significant.

On my daily early morning walk I was thinking about the life of shepherds. It’s indeed a monotonous life, looking at the same goats every day, herding the same cattle, looking at the same terrain. Their days are punctuated with excitement in throwing rocks at birds, practicing their skills with the bow and arrow and catching up with the latest gossip from fellow herders. On a really big day they may have to chase away a jackal or carry a newborn kid back to the kraal.

Such was the life of a guy named Abraham, Moses and David. Though the Scriptures highlight their rise to prominence, great faith and lasting reputation for all succeeding generations, prior to fame, they were just herders of sheep. The shepherds, 2,000 years ago, were just watching the flocks at night. No kraal for them, just open field, when the angelic host of heaven announced that the Messiah had been born in a barn in Bethlehem. Talking about breaking monotony!

Most of life is sheep tending. It may be a housewife taking care of the kids, a grad-student preparing for an exam, a carpenter doing a remodeling job. Much of life is mundane and sometimes tedious. But it’s in the droning of life that God does His best work. Not all shepherds end up leading His people out of Egypt. Not all caretakers of sheep kill lions and bears and grow up to sit on a throne. There were a lot of shepherds tending their flocks that night, the angels only appeared to few.

What will be the headline of my next newsletter to our supporters? “The Lion Didn’t Eat Me--Successfully Tended Sheep,” might work…but then they have to read this blog to understand it.