Like many missionaries, I seem to spend a lot of time in airports, which is a place where you may run into many different types of people. People watching is one of my favorite pastimes, especially while traveling.
One of my favorite places to sit in the airport is by a moving sidewalk because it is the best place to watch people. These moving sidewalks were designed to get people from one end of the concourse to the other more efficiently. Different people, however, have different views of more efficient. Some people stop walking to simply ride, deciding that getting to their destination while expending less energy is most efficient. Some people walk at their normal pace while on the moving sidewalk, and others I have seen running along the moving sidewalk. These last two groups have decided to take advantage of the additional movement forward to increase the speed at which they are able to travel.
A moving sidewalk kind of reminds me of God working in our lives. God’s heart is to continually mold and makes us into the person he designed us to be, and in that process he is always moving us forward through any situation or circumstance to reach my designed purpose.
In 2006, Sue and I were both shot by bandits while living in Trinidad and Tobago. During the process of healing physically and spiritually after this happened, I read Psalm 91 every day for over a year. I love the 1st verse, which says “Those how live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” At first, I wanted to simply sit in the shelter of the Most High.
There are times in our lives as leaders that we need to rest and be refreshed and simply sit. Rest for leaders is such an important principle in order to live well and flourish. As leaders we need to make rest a habit, and share with others how important this habit is.
After a period of rest God started to focus my attention on the second half of the first verse of Psalm 91, “In the shadow of the Almighty”. I started to realize that in order for me to stay in His shadow I need to move.
Even if someone stays in the same place, the sun continues to move, and the shadow cast by them shifts along with the sun. If I were to try and stay in their shadow, I would have to move as the Sun moves.
God wants us as leaders to move in his shadow, progressing forward in His plans and purposes. We need to trust that He continues to move us forward, no matter what, as people at the airport use moving walkways to increase their efficiency when traveling.
In leadership we need to balance rest with efficiently moving at the pace God is setting. Sometimes moving will look like rest, other times, it may involve walking or running. No matter which season we are in, we need to make sure to stay on His sidewalk because it will be the most efficient way to move forward in life and ministry.