Indiana Jones is the sort of man that could work his way out of any problem. The powers of his charm, good looks, incredible knowledge, agility, endurance, problem-solving, and that cool whip also figured in his narrow escapes and successful journeys. I think in the heart of most leaders is a desire to be a cool, calm, and capable as Indiana Jones.
But in reality, we cannot trust ourselves with these things, because, as I wrote in a previous post (Trusting Our Leadership Idols) we will turn them into little “gods” and put our faith in them. And they will always let us down.
So disaster will overtake you,
and you won’t be able to charm it away.
Calamity will fall upon you,
and you won’t be able to buy your way out.
A catastrophe will strike you suddenly,
one for which you are not prepared – Isaiah 47:11
Indiana Jones had personality in abundance. There comes a day when our charm will let us down. Too often we trust in our personality, our ability to influence and persuade as means to leadership success. But, because we are not Indiana Jones or Jesus, these “idols” will not save us from disaster.
Indiana Jones had a sweet whip, suave hat, and cool leather jacket that he could count on again and again. But in reality, reliance on our things is reliance on that which will fail us. Our material possession, wealth, resources, and the like won’t do what only God can do. Eventually, we face a problem that we cannot “buy” ourselves out of. Our “idol” of stuff, the perceived power of possessions, is not powerful enough to prevent calamity.
Indian Jones always had a plan. As he said, “Nothing surprises me; I’m a scientist.”All leaders have plans, but when we turn them into “idols” or “gods” we are planning for failure. We may trust in our knowledge, our understanding, and our plan, but they will not be able to avert of from catastrophe if we worship them with complete trust and dependence.
Since we are not Indiana Jones, our personality, possessions, and plans are not enough to save us from the leadership disasters, calamities, and catastrophes of this world. We see time and time again in leaders of every stripe who fail because they trusted in and depended on themselves, in their personalities, possessions, and plans.
Penitence is a lost idea in our culture. I am sure not many leaders have ever considered the role of penitence in leadership. But I believe we must call our selves to a place of penitence. To confess we have worshipped “idols” and “gods” of our own making and have trusted in these to our detriment. Let us penitently turn away from these false of “gods” personality, possessions, and plans. Let us return to a position of dependence.
True leadership power does not reside in our personalities, possessions, or plans. The power to lead through disasters, calamities, and catastrophes must come through penitently turning away from ourselves and in faithful dependence and trust turning toward the power of God alone.
The penitent leader is the one who returns to the source of their leadership calling, to the source of their leadership mission. He is our Prince, our Perfector our paschal lamb, our Priest, our provider, and our power. Let us daily penitently pass over our
Let us daily penitently pass over our self-power and take hold of His true power.
Even Indiana Jones learned that “Only the penitent man shall pass.”
Only the penitent leader shall pass.
So choose wisely, not poorly!