I was asked this question in a work training environment this week. “What kind of world do you want to leave your kids?” The lesson was to get you to think about what kind of world you would want to have and how you could be a leader in that world but as I sat there with the question beaming back at me, I struggled to put words on to paper. What kind of world did I want to leave them?
If I’m completely honest, I wrote down a lot of different things; a world with no more hate, no more pain or sickness, a world where everyone loves Jesus. I didn’t want to feel scared anymore. I didn’t want to have to worry about anything. And then it hit me, I was describing heaven. In our world, we will never completely have these things. Our world is so full of hate and pain and darkness that this world I imagined would never be. We live in a broken world. James 1:2-4 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
This idea was a sad one for me and is often times a struggle for me on a daily basis. I don’t want to face trials and dark times. I’ve been through so much that the thought of going through more was exhausting to me. I didn’t want others to go through dark times either.
The second part to my work exercise was to take that idea of the world I wanted to leave and find my purpose in it all. What was my drive to wake up every day? How did I want to lead in order to build that world I had described? I searched in my heart for the answer but came up empty. Truth is, I have no drive to get up every day. I have no passion to change the world. The thought of changing this world sounds daunting. I know it is a broken world, so why try and fix it if it will always be broken?
Then it hit me. I have lived a life full of dark moments as well. Moments as dark as this world. When I think back on all those times, I wish I would have had someone to lead me through them and be by my side. Why not become that kind of a leader? There are thousands of people hurting in the world. If I can help lead them through a dark time, wouldn’t my job as a leader in this world be complete? This could be done by simply being there for them or sharing how God lead me out of my darkest times and showing them how He can do the same for them. So often, I went on that dark path I crossed and felt alone. If I simply had someone to reach out to and talk to step by step, I wonder if I wouldn’t have felt so alone.
My goal and my passion from this moment on is to wake up each morning with the intent of being there for one person a day. If they are struggling, I will be there in whatever way they need. I will serve them in any way I can. William Arthur Ward once stated, “Leadership is a serving relationship that has the effect of facilitating human development.” Serving is a crucial part of leadership and now I know what my purpose every day is.