Monday, May 30, 2011

Epic Leadership

By Belinda

Epic (genre), stories depicting a series of heroic feats--according to Wikipedia.

Stories of heroism inspire me; so do virtues such as courage and sacrifice. In fact, my friend Susan, who knows me well, once gave me The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories to take with me on a plane journey. Although it is a children's book, I love it.

At the same time as working on the practical elements within in our control in situations that can be described as difficult--there is a critical power to be harnessed with great potential to bring positive change; the power of story.

I'm talking about the story people tell themselves. If that story can change, there is nothing that can defeat us. It may be true that the words "tough," "difficult," and  "stressful," are apt, but if we rise above those words and change our descriptors we can change our experience of the situation. We can soar instead of sink--and I believe that this change can even alter the outcome of situations.

There are times when we must look beyond the surface evidence, through eyes of faith, to see what God can make of the messes we find ourselves in. The Bible is replete with examples such as that of Elisha, who prayed for his servant that the Lord would open his eyes when he despaired of attack by an enemy and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire.

So an element of leadership, especially spiritual leadership, is being able to "see," and to inspire others to a vision beyond what seems to be.

Think about the story of Deborah in the book of Judges 5. What an inspirational story that is. And read verses 10&11--I think they are about "story:"

10-11 You who ride on prize donkeys comfortably mounted on blankets
   And you who walk down the roads,
      ponder, attend!
   Gather at the town well
      and listen to them sing,
   Chanting the tale of God's victories,
      his victories accomplished in Israel.
    Then the people of God      went down to the city gates. (Judges 5:11, The Message)

Our culture knows this principle and put to use without God it will still have a positive effect because truth is truth. But it is a spiritual principle first and foremost. There is an unseen world and there is a spiritual battle behind every physical battle. Our job as leaders is to hold this truth up; impart stories that inspire and demonstrate Epic Leadership.
10 Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;
   propose your plan, but it will not stand,
   for God is with us. (Isaiah 8:10, New International Version)

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