I was inspired by a leader recently. This is his story.
He was born into oppression. He grew up very poor in a hard-working family. His father was a labourer and his mother kept the house and ministered to her community. He did not have access to great schooling. He dropped out of school early to take a labourer job to help the family with money.
He slowly moved through the ranks and became something of a labour leader among his peers. Then, the year he turned 38, something happened, a massive regime change. The labour party overthrew the bourgeoise ruling elite in a miraculous turn around. This was followed by two challenging years as this labour party struggled to figure out how to rule a population.
After these two years, he was commissioned with the other leaders to investigate the possibility for this country to establish themselves as a well-run, wealthy nation. Despite the potential and capacity of such a grand initiative, most of the task team were despondent. It was too mammoth a task. The challenges were insurmountable. Unemployment was high, education was poor, healthcare was non-existent. Economic activity was under pressure This leader, along with one other man on the task team adopted a different posture. A posture of faith. They acknowledged the challenges, but they also knew that this whole revolution was empowered by God. He had gotten them this far. Surely, He would empower them to complete the work.
Alas, fear crept in. The population got word of the despondence of the leadership. Despite the pleadings and speeches of this leader and his supporter, politics had taken over. For the next forty years, the labour party hobbled along on crutches. The country survived, but only barely. They remained a third world economy. They could not really take care of the people. They suffered from pandemics, wars, drought, poverty and all the other social ills. They endured uprisings, strikes, and protests.
Finally, forty years later, the country again reaches the crossroad they were at before. This time, before a task team was even sent to explore the possibilities, this leader, now 85, spoke up. With the same faith he had 40 years earlier he addressed parliament.
“Give me the hill country!” he said. The thing that scares you most. The thing you do not know how to address. The challenge that trips you up and keeps us from the prosperity we are capable of, do not fret. I have had faith for 40 years. I am still as strong as I was that day. I will conquer it. Just let us go!
This leader is Caleb of Judah! But he is also you, and me, and every learner that we serve at POPUP. He is every representative in our government, every businessman, every volunteer, every social impact partner. For every one of us, this story highlights two things:
- The delays, suffering, poverty, and pain that come because of fearful leadership.
- The victory that comes through the faith of one leader.
Caleb took the hill country. A place of giants to whom “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” *
It takes one City Changer to shift the narrative. You are our Caleb!
Give me this mountain! #beone
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* Numbers 13:33