One of leadership’s greatest challenges is staying focused on the set direction you’ve intended. As a young staff member of The Navigators I can remember the exhortation from Leroy Eims, “There are two ways to miss the will of God: 1) sin and 2) glorious opportunities.”
Hippolomy was a mythical, Greek young man who was in love with the beautiful Atlanta. Atlanta, in addition to her striking beauty, was also a gifted runner, but she had a cruel, sadistic character. Many young men became infatuated with her beauty and desired to marry her. These men were challenged to a foot race with two conditions. If the man won the race, he could marry Atlanta. But if he lost, he would pay with his life. Many a man tried and paid the ultimate price for his second place finish.
Hippolomy also became mesmerized by Atlanta’s beauty and challenged her to a race. Shortly after the race began he lagging behind. Reaching into his tunic, he withdrew a golden apple and threw it in front of the streaking Atlanta. The flash of gold caught her eye and she stopped to pick up the golden fruit as Hippolomy raced by. She soon recovered and again moved ahead of him. Hippolomy pulled a second golden apple from his tunic and threw it in front of Atlanta who once again stopped to pick it up. As Hippolomy passed the crouching Atlanta, she realized that the race was nearing the finish and she recovered soon enough to regain a comfortable lead with a short distance to go.
Hippolomy retrieved the last of his golden apples from his tunic and rolled it ahead of Atlanta as she approached the finish. Atlanta was in a quandary; should she stop and pick up the apple or press for the finish line. She reasoned that she certainly could do both, so she stopped to placed the golden fruit in her robe just a Hippolomy passed her and raced towards the finish. She recovered, but now with such a short distance, she was not able to beat him. Hippolomy had won!
This is not an illustration on how to find a life partner! Rather, as you race through life, you will find the enemy of your soul rolling “golden apples” of opportunity, compromise, and temptation in your path. Watch out! Stay on target!
Great exhortation and illustration. Thanks, Tom.
Learning to say ‘No’ to good opportunities so as to finish the race and my calling.