This week, I was reminded by a dear friend and blog subscriber that I should get back to my writing. I have surely been distracted for the past six months; of necessity, giving single focus to my political calling. Though my writing has been neglected in terms of output, the insights gleaned of late have been phenomenal.
I was truly grateful to the community for my re-election as Mayor in November 2011, but within a few weeks of that election I had begun to sense of leading to pursue higher office. Though originally planned for 2014 as a means for providing a county wide voice for our small bedroom community, as I shared this inclination toward higher office, I was encouraged by the more politically astute to run in 2012. Their strategy being to increase name recognition in preparation for 2014; yet, my own spirit conveyed a higher sense of purpose, an affirmation and even urgency, that related more to my first love and spiritual calling of intercession.
Time will tell the practical outcomes of our political initiative, but what I gained personally may have been the real win!
First the psychological challenge of running a race that you have been told you could not win, but of necessity must participate in. Then, the added caveat, that in order to maximize the results, one must run as if he could win. Of course the further into the race I got, the more this competitive leader believed he could win; first time out!
Secondly, balancing the emotional stabilization necessary to gracefully bring yourself down when the loss occurs. In that, came the necessary spiritual development and further crafting of personal character, much needed given the bitter sweet experience last November. This character realignment was even more assured by the fact that I had to face many constituents who disagreed with prior decisions made under my leadership. Intense might be a good word to describe my last few months.
For sure, I learned that our country is perhaps as divided now as just prior to the Civil War. We desperately need to intercede in both spiritual prayer and practical leadership, much like the days of Lincoln.
Layered on top all this was my continued study of Judah, and the edits to my ongoing manuscript: Judah, The Journey to Delight. In fact, much of the impetus for my return to writing this morning was a scripture read earlier from Hebrews: “For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priest.” Hebrews 7:14 (NIV).
That led me to once more read the story of Judah recorded in Genesis. My curiosity with this man continues to grow each time I open the scripture.
As one who has aspired to lead like Joseph, the noblest son of Israel, my life more often aligns with Judah. The good news is God also has chosen to identify with this lesser. His message of intercession and the means of assuring our redemption is all about grace over excellence: Judah over Joseph.
“Judah said to his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will be on our way. Otherwise we will all die of starvation—and not only we, but you and our little ones. I personally guarantee his safety. You may hold me responsible if I don’t bring him back to you. Then let me bear the blame forever.” Genesis 43:8-9 NLT
As I reread the story of Judah this morning, the last first few lines in the above verse shout again the promises of our eternal intercessor, One who bears our blame forever…personally guaranteeing our safety!
As a leader, I can lean on Him and there find hope for my life, my community, and our nation: The Lion of Judah!