Appropriately Proactive

Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away… (1 Samuel 13:8).

The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and cisterns. Some of them crossed the Jordan River and escaped into the land of Gad and Gilead. 

Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear. Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself.

Saul stayed … Saul waited … and as a result, Saul sinned.

Saul ended up being inappropriately reactive, and thus committing a sin. His reaction to his men slipping away, hiding, and defecting was to act in a way that was inappropriate for anyone but the priest.

It’s been said that action has killed its thousands, and reaction has killed its tens of thousands. But if only Saul would have proactively sought God, or proactively formed a battle strategy, or proactively spoke an encouraging word to his men, or proactively moved out with his troops—anything(!) but just sit still—perhaps his legacy as king wouldn’t have been so short lived.

When leaders aren’t appropriately proactive, they risk becoming inappropriately reactive.

A mark of a godly leader is one who is appropriately proactive.

This is part 20 in my series on godly leadership. You can check out all of my posts on this topic by clicking here.

Poetry Saturday―Seize This Very Minute

Johann Wolfgang von GoetheLose this day loitering, ’twill be the same story
Tomorrow, and the rest more dilatory.
Thus indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost tormenting over days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it;
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated;
Begin, and then the work will be completed. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Helpers

HelpersI was at the University of Michigan with a friend who is on the list waiting for a liver transplant. We spent a half-day listening to doctors, nurses, dietitians and others tell us what to expect through this process.

One social worker really emphasized the care of the patient’s body prior to the transplant as a way to help with recovery from the surgery. He said, Pre-habilitation helps rehabilitation.” 

I like that!

It’s sort of a variation on Benjamin Franklin’s maxims, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and “A stitch in time saves nine.” Even wise King Solomon wrote, “A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks; a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered” (Proverbs 22:3, The Message).

To help things go better later, we need to start working sooner. Later things go better with helpers that begin sooner. 

Here are a few helpers I thought of:

Pre-habilitation helps rehabilitation. 

Preparing helps repairing. 

Exercise helps recovery. 

Proaction helps better reaction. 

Accepting responsibility helps apologizing. 

Praying helps working. 

Daily study helps studying the night before a test. 

What other helpers would you add to the list? (Add them in the comments below….)

T.G.I.T.

Today is Friday, and all over the country this morning people forced themselves out of bed by saying, “T.G.I.F. — thank God it’s Friday!” But today I’m saying,

T.G.I.T. — Thank God It’s Today!

I did a quick search in my Bible concordance. Check out the number of times these words appear in Scripture:

Today—203                Tomorrow—56
Now—1186                 Later—83

Clearly today is the day, and now is the time. So T.G.I.T. — Thank God It’s Today!

Natalie Grant has a great song “What Are You Waiting For” (lyrics here). The chorus in her song captures the essence of T.G.I.T.

So you wanna change the world
What are you waiting for
You say you’re gonna start right now
What are you waiting for
It only takes one voice
So come on now and shout it out
Give a little more
What are you waiting for

In the Old Testament Moses wrote a song about T.G.I.T. too. It’s in Psalm 90 —

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:12, 14, 17)

Don’t make today just T.G.I.F., make today and everyday T.G.I.T. — Thank God It’s Today! Do something memorable today… do something life-altering today… do something for God today and He will establish the work of your hands.

Make today a great today! T.G.I.T.!

%d bloggers like this: