Where predestination meets opportunity…
Where opportunity meets preparation…
Where preparation meets destiny…
In between these three strands, at every milestone and juncture are times of testing; tough, stretched-to-the-limit testing, where every ounce of resolve, tenacity and commitment is tested. A refiner’s fire through which one passes over and over again until one comes out pure gold. Such is the nature of callings; such is the transportation fare to one’s destiny.
Ask Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years, now battling the infection he contracted in that prison. Ask Steve Jobs who, adopted by a low-income family, slept in left over dorm rooms because he could not afford room and board in college. Ask Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who had four sons in an abusive marriage before ever setting foot in college. Ask her what price she paid; what cross she carried to wear the crown of the presidency today. Ask her if the presidency is always as glamorous and glorious as it looks.
Leadership is purpose-driven and seasonal. Good leaders and tyrants alike are sent for a reason and for a season. After Israel asked Samuel for a king, thereby rejecting God as king, God gave them Saul as king to teach them a lesson — the difference between God's leadership and that of man. That difference is that man’s leadership is prone to error; God’s is not; and that given that man’s leadership still falls under God’s dominion anyway, they should have stuck with God in the first place.
And so given that leadership is purpose-driven and seasonal, those who are not destined can spend a lifetime chasing what is not theirs to hold; chasing a crown for which they have not paid the price, not knowing that said price is far from monetary. Starting from the top and not finding success, they descend to the middle and eventually to the bottom, trying to figure out which way is up.
That leadership is purpose-driven means that a particular leader is put in place for a particular reason. And for all of the mistakes that leaders make, those destinies are fulfilled — whether that reason is to lay a foundation for the nation; whether it is to bring continuity or further development; whether to expose faults, imbalances or cleavages; whether to teach the nation a lesson, thereby registering God’s displeasure with a particular problem; whether it is to restore order and stability, every leader comes at a particular time for a particular purpose. That is why only a particular leader, not just any leader, will do.
That leadership is seasonal means that when that time and purpose have been fulfilled, said leader must exit stage left. Where leaders run into problems and end up destroying their legacies is when they focus on things other than the purpose for which they were sent; and when they try to extend their stay past deadline. Some leaders have such insecurity, they feel that because of their inadequacies, they do not belong. As such, they exercise undue control over what is already theirs and end up destroying what would otherwise have been good legacies. Moses was a prime example.
Some leaders are in fact pawns of history. Having taken the presidency by force, they believe that they are in control. They are not. They have only been allowed to hold the position for a particular reason and a particular season. Otherwise, they would have been unsuccessful in the attempt to begin with. After said reason and season, they often go out as they came in, destiny and consequence at once colliding. “He who lives by the sword…” Doe and Taylor are two examples, as are most tyrants.
So let those who aspire to the presidency take heed, examine their motives and how history will judge them. The presidency is not for the taking, unless one is content to be a pawn of history. But where destiny is fulfilled, the rewards last through the ages.