I have spent the last week traveling Washington DC and Williamsburg, Virginia taking a class through Dallas Baptist University. The class focused on examining leadership through the lives of the Founding Fathers. It was a great class, we looked at the lives of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, and more. We considered their personal lives, the political lives, and their business lives. These men left marks on every level of American civilization from the 18th century to present day.
I loved the class and the material. The professors were great and the sights were amazing. Even the great poets would be hard pressed to adequately describe the royal view from the back of Mount Vernon (Washington’s Estates). My favorite authors could not use grand enough words to sufficiently awe a reader as they portrayed Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s Estate). The night tour of the Capitol, entering both the House and Senate floors, overwhelms you with a sense of history and a desire to affect change in your world.
It all begs the questions: “What will be your mark?” I believe that God has a plan and that his plan includes things that he wants his children, those who call on his name, to do. What is my part in that plan?
One of the most humbling parts of the trip was completely unrelated to the course content or the teachers. My fellow students helped remind me this week of many things. In two of these students in particular I saw compassion. There are broken families in my community, on my street, and in my church. There is pain and heart ache and if we are not careful, we can miss the ministry opportunity that brings. Two other students were filled with passion. They both feel a call on their lives and actively pursue that call. There was sincerity, drive, ambition, intelligence, thoughtfulness, intuition, and kindness in different members of this group.
While none of us is going to be a master of all these, we must each push ourselves to grown in every way we can. There are certainly many lessons to learn from the Founders. Without these men, we would be living in a very different world. But there are also many lessons to be learned from those around us. If you have the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and out of your “bubble” if you will, do it. There is a world of people who out there who can help you become stronger. Engage.
One of our professors quoted Winston Churchill: “To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”
So the question goes, “Who am I?” I know that I am a child of God, created for a purpose. If I believe that, if you believe that, what are you doing to be read so that when the moments that God gives you to act come along, you are ready and willing?