>One of the elders of our church gave me an updated copy of “Spiritual Leadership” by Oswald Sanders. It’s a classic on leadership, and although I read it many years ago, I had forgotten how good of a book it is. I’ve been reading random chapters here and there as part of my midday reflections (something I’m trying to do more of). Last week, I was reading the chapter on ‘The Leader and Time’. This phrase stood out to me, “The habit of putting off is fatal to spiritual leadership.” I don’t know why that phrase impacted me, but I see God’s hand in teaching me a lesson.
These past two weeks, I have had the honor of walking alongside a mother at our church who has been battling cancer for the last several years. She was taken home to be with the Lord last night. I feel ashamed to say this, but I had two chances to visit with her, but put it off. Just before Christmas, I was going to stop by, but my schedule got the best of me, and I postponed until after the New Year’s. I got to visit with her a week and a half ago, and it was a sweet visit. I kicked myself for not having gotten over there sooner. I had every intention of stopping in last week to just be with her and play some music, but I put it off. I got caught up in conversations and meetings. I told myself I would visit her this week, and she went home last night. I feel such a sense of loss and failure. I didn’t get to say my goodbyes. I wasn’t able to sing with her her favorite song, “Blessed Be Your Name.” I put it off.
Much like my previous resolution to not hold back what needs to be said, I am learning a new lesson – this time through regret and grief. Don’t put visiting people off. Respond to the Lord as he dictates as soon as you can, not when your schedule allows. Sanders is right. Make that a habit and your spiritual leadership will be discredited, insincere, and shallow.