“And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore (why) hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore (why) have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? Whence (where) should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.”Numbers 11:11-13
I recently interviewed for a manager’s position and this has been one of my goals since I started working with the company. I have sought to lead a team of my own and have a greater influence on a larger group of people. The manager positions have not opened up as I thought they would, so I was grateful to get a shot as the competition is quite stiff. Although it has been my desire to lead people at my work since I started six years ago, I sometimes forget the hardships being a leader brings.
Years ago I was a youth leader, and while I was excited for the role, I did not realize all of the work and burdens that came with it. I thought about going to summer camps, youth conferences, and giving testimonies in front on the church. I imagined youth who would be eager to hear my lessons, and I felt I had so much wisdom to impart to them. I wanted to correct all the “wrong” that was done to me as a youth, and I was grateful for the platform I would have.
The allure of leading the youth group wore off when we went on our first road trip, and I started to realize that the kids sounded a lot like the Israelites. When we first started the trip, excitement filled the van, but it did not take long for that sentiment to wear off. We were well within the city limits when the gripes began, and at first, I tried to ignore them. As the trip progressed the complaining started to wear on me. I could not wait to drop those kids off at the youth conference until I realized I was stuck with them for the next few days. I was not well versed in anger management training, and I doing my best to pass this sanctification test.
The conference came to an end, and I was ready to drop those kids off like yesterday. I was no longer enamored with the position of being the youth leader, and I realized that there is more to leading teens than I originally thought. My neck was sore from watching everywhere the kids went, and my ears were weary from their complaining. I kissed my wife when I got home, grateful to have some peace and quiet.
I imagine Moses in his leadership position, leading over a million people instead of the 8 or 9 that I had. The complaining of the people had worn on him, and I bet he wished he could leave them there in the wilderness. He cried out to God and he wondered why he had been chosen to lead this great number of people. Leadership is not always what it cracked up to be, but it can be rewarding when the leader honors God in their leadership and trusts in His plan for their life. We often criticize the one above us, and we fail to realize that God has allowed that leader in our lives. It is easy to criticize the leader until you become one. The children of Israel put undue pressure on Moses, much like we do on those God has allowed to lead us.
How do you treat those who lead you? Are people glad to lead you or do they wish they could drop you off in the wilderness? Do you complain about anything and everything or do you find ways to be grateful? Do you pray for your leaders? I need to improve in all these areas as I know God is the One who sets up and tears down the leaders in life. May we follow those whom God has placed in authority over us, and may we be a blessing and not a burden.