Lydia, our African colleague arrived at our home last week. That night a bear came by to welcome her but she was sleeping off her 34 hour trip ‘jet lag’. I think that in the bear’s mind he was saying “Trick or Treat”. When she didn’t treat him with appropriate recognition he bumbled around our yard making a great trick of wrecking and destroying stuff. A moose who came by earlier, and a fox since then, have been much more congenial visitors. Lydia’s reports back to Africa have elicited a flood of prayers and notes from her family regarding her safety in this remote Canadian jungle! A few days later I found her in the kitchen with gun in hand, so I guess their prayers are being answered!
“Bringing the Elephant Home” * is what we call Lydia’s Speaking Tour. We may have to change it to “Shoot the Bear”!
While preparing for an upcoming “Spiritual Identity & Dominion” training course in Japan, I was intrigued with some insights on time management that Jesus modeled. Mark chapter one records people coming from great distances to receive ministry from Him. On that morning He had gotten up early to pray. The disciples finally found Him and told Him that people were assembled, waiting to see Him. He responded by announcing that He was leaving. No apologies, no schedule change, no announcement; He just left! He knew that His job was leadership development. He knew that His first responsibility was to disciple specific individuals to be world changers. He kept that key result in focus and walked away from the crowds. Some of those people must have been very angry with Him. They had traveled all night to get healed and He was gone. There were probably people who died and went to hell before He came back. There were probably people who spent the rest of their lives demonized or sick. But Jesus was focused on finishing the job that He’d been called to do.
Time management and keeping focused on priorities is a huge responsibility for me. I always find important things to do. The question is not about being busy or productive. The question is whether I’m doing good things versus the best things that I’ve been called to do.
Jesus could have done a lot of good things. He could have spent 70 years healing the sick, throwing out demons, or preaching good news. But His biggest struggle was in time management. He had to focus on getting the key thing done. He had to say no to the good things to do the best things. AND He finished the work that He was called to do.
Thanks for being our friend by allowing me to write these notes. The prayers you make encourage me in the studies and ventures that I do, to develop leaders. Lydia is one of the fruits of our ministry, and I love the option of this three month speaking tour to present ‘one’ real person out of dozens that have been recipients of our effort. (The itinerary logistics of travel and coordinating 30+ meetings for this “Bringing the Elephant Home” series can be overwhelming!)
Really appreciating your support … john & Laura
* An African saying that Lydia introduced me to. “no-one can carry or eat an elephant alone! It needs to be shared”
(original e-newsletter post – Aug 8, 2013)