Sunday, August 24, 2014

Following the Leader, the Leader, the Leader, Following the Leader, Where Ever He Will Go

Do you feel the need of a leader? For some it seems to work out.

In my childhood I thought of authority figures as leaders. My father, of course, and the current president of the U.S. Way back when movie patrons would clap when the scene of a rippling flag would appear, we all believed in leaders. Authority equaled leadership.

Some of my early icons were baseball umpires, those mysterious men in black, and since we traveled by train a lot, conductors, with their serious demeanor, were definitely authorities.

In the Methodist church John Wesley was revered, super-pious and remote. Who could question him? Imagine anyone asking, was Wesley a Christian? They are asking it now, as in his own words, he dabbled in mysticism and was not even certain of his faith.

But hang a picture up, say someone is a leader, and what is a kid to think? It can be a geografical issue--Castro, Wesley, or the Pope. Is there an objective standard?

Authority is fairly simple, but leadership gets complicated. Presently, so-called black leaders are losing credibility. A cynic could say that when any leader "catches on" and seeks to act independently, he is killed--a kind of authentication by martyrdom.

May I say that in 79 years one can be disappointed many times. You can, in early life, be angry or upset. Eventually, you will learn not to care. You may no longer have a need for any earthly leader at all. We have one Leader, Jesus Christ, and He is everything we need.

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