Zeal and the Frenetic Leader
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11 (NIV 1984)
Frenetic = fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way. When I think of the leadership of Jesus and His leadership lifestyle, the word ‘frenetic’ never enters into my description. Yet, there were so many demands upon Him – “everyone is looking for you,” and “so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat.” But, Jesus never seemed to give into the hurry, rather, he took steps to deal with these demands.
He told His disciples to “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” And, “When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.” He continually made time to pray and spend with His Father amidst all the crushing demands pressing in on Him daily.
Today I see many leaders who seem to draw their significance for their busyness. They fill their schedules with back to back appointments and then complain about not having enough time for rest or relaxation. The reality is this, “You are only as busy as you want to be.” No excuses! No complaints! Own your reality – it’s on you!
This reality is illustrated every time a ‘crisis’ interrupts our packed schedules. Suddenly, adjustments can be made, appointments can be cancelled or rescheduled for later. What makes this happen is that we now have a ‘good excuse’ for making these changes. We are in control of the schedule; we just needed a good reason to make some major adjustments.
The goal is not pursuing a life of ease or comfort. Leaders are busy people. If you don’t want to be busy, then don’t lead! But… are you so busy ‘doing for Jesus’ that you have neglected ‘being with Jesus’? Are you pegging life’s RPM meter into the red? It’s not sustainable for a long push. Something with give way – health, relationships with spouse or family members, spiritual dryness, etc. We are not made for it.
The Lord not only modeled a sustainable pace in His life and ministry, but he created a framework for us to thrive long-term. It’s called the ‘sabbath.’ Periodic times of recharging and renewal are essential. God’s design was that we get this sabbath time weekly.
For me, the measure of how I’m doing in this sustainable lifestyle is my prayer life. Am I making the time to really spend adequate time for prayer or is my prayer life often hurried, rushed, and superficial?
Are you a frenetic leader or are you a leader who lives within your God-given boundaries? How’s your prayer life these days?