Today a quote crossed my desk from Max DePree, the former head of Herman Miller Furniture Company. Max is a recognized leader and a strong Christian. He said,
“Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions. And the first question for a leader always is: ‘Who do we intend to be?’ Not ‘What are we going to do?’ but ‘Who do we intend to be?'”
That was a quote I put on the bulletin board over my desk. I loved Max’s book Leadership is an Art.
Yesterday, on May 8, Oswald Chambers’ devotional spoke about the perseverance of the believer. He compared our lives to a bow and arrow in the hand of God. He suggested that many times the believer finds herself (himself) being stretched by God like a bowstring. He suggested we might think in those times, “I can’t take more,” and “I’m not going anywhere.” However, God continues to do His work in us until He is fully ready. Then at the appropriate moment, He let’s fly at a target we may never have seen nor been aware of. Chambers encourages us to persevere.
My problem is that sometime I find perseverance difficult. God’s timing doesn’t often coincide with my own. He seems much slower! Sometimes I say, “We serve a crock-pot God in a microwave world.” God’s purposes are slow and thorough like a crock-pot. But I am used to living in a world where we instantly heat things in a microwave. When we do that there is a lot of flavor lost and meat can often come out pretty tough!
That brings me back to DePree, “What do I intend to be?” Do I want to set my course, live for myself and maybe waste my life on my own pursuits? Or do I want to be a servant of the Most High God who will sight me in to something of eternal significance and release the bowstring when He is ready, the situation is right and the gifts He placed in me can work for His kingdom? That’s what I intend to be. My prayer is that I’ll learn to cook better with His crock-pot. (…let Him do the cooking./I’ll learn to ‘slow cook.) I intend to be His.